So Denny Rickman has a new face and a severe buzz cut. Yes, Sharon’s son has been recast with Bleu Landau taking over from Harry Hickles in last night’s episode of EastEnders. But what does Denny’s new look mean?
Well, on past performance it hints that a major storyline has to be in the offing. When Eliot Carrington became the new Bobby Beale, the character was quickly unmasked as a pint-sized killer. So what might be the big plan for little Denny now that this new actor is in the role?
First up has to be Denny finding out that Bobby murdered Lucy. Phil knows, Sharon knows – so surely it’s only a matter of time before Denny overhears them discussing it all?
Can’t you just picture the scene? Denny lurking on the stairs, Sharon breathily whispering to Phil about not being able to keep the truth under wraps any longer, only for Denny to enter the room and demand to know what’s going on…
Then there’s Denny’s oft-discussed bad behaviour. Back in the day, we saw him acting maliciously when Whitney was a classroom assistant. Then there was the wallop he gave Sharon earlier this year, only to then be rewarded with a games console. Now that he’s had a good going over with those hair clippers, surely Denny’s thuggish tendencies can run rampant?
And if he DOES find out about Bobby’s guilt, then what’s the betting he causes trouble in the school playground. We know that Bobby’s no stranger to kicking off at break time, so how about the two of them going head to head at Walford High School? “How about I tell everyone exactly what you did to Lucy?” Denny could threaten, as he pins Bobby up against a wall by his throat and steals his dinner money.
It could even cause a massive rift between the Beales and the Mitchells as Ian and Sharon each try to take the moral high ground and defend their respective offspring. “Your son’s a menace,” spits Ian. “Well, at least my boy didn’t kill his own SISTER,” responds Sharon.
It would also be a treat to see Paul Nicholas’s sinister Gavin unmasked as Sharon’s birth father – which, by extension, would make him Denny’s granddad.
Something tells me that Gavin wouldn’t be cheery grandpa offering up the Werther’s Originals to Denny while they watch the Antiques Roadshow together. More likely, he’d be getting him down Basher Jim’s for a bit of boxing training before introducing him into his criminal empire.
After all, his late dad Dennis (Nigel Harman) was no stranger to mixing it with nefarious types – so will history end up repeating itself?
Or perhaps EastEnders are thinking long-term: perhaps, in ten years’ time, Denny and Bobby will be ruling Walford like a 2025 version of The Firm. Phil Mitchell may still be able to throw some punches, but how about he passes on some skills to Denny before it’s too late? Denny: the hardest man in Albert Square. And his fearsome sidekick Bobby, with his steel-capped jewellery box. It could happen!
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.