The Slaters have been a firm fixture in the BBC soap for more than 20 years, so Freddie originates from characters with a rich history within the show. But as we are re-introduced to Freddie as a young adult, you may be wondering why he's back, where he came from and any other significant details about the character.
That's why RadioTimes.com has compiled this handy guide, so you can catch up on all you need to know before Freddie makes his mark. So read on to learn more, or to refresh your memory on his backstory.
Who is Freddie Slater as he returns to EastEnders?
Freddie is the son of one of EastEnders' most memorable characters - Little Mo, as played by powerhouse performer Kacey Ainsworth between 2000 and 2006. Before Freddie's arrival, though, the nation took Little Mo to their hearts. It was revealed that the gentle soul was being abused by husband Trevor Morgan (Alex Ferns). Her ordeal continued for years, until Mo fought back during another brutal attack. She struck Trevor with an iron, and was subsequently jailed for attempted murder. He did a deal with the Slaters for Little Mo's release; but he later set the house on fire in revenge.
Trevor's scheme led to his own demise, leaving Mo finally able to move on as she married Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick). But just a year into their marriage, things took another harrowing turn when she was raped by Graham Foster (Alex McSweeney) as she worked in The Queen Vic. This ultimately led to Mo's pregnancy - and Billy was unable to accept her decision to keep the baby when she pointed out that the child could not be blamed for their father's vile actions.
Little Mo took a break away from Walford, and returned for Graham's trial at which he was found guilty. In her absence, she had given birth to Freddie, and she and Billy attempted a reconciliation. But again, Billy struggled as he simply couldn't bond with the baby as his own. Little Mo found love again with Oliver Cousins (Tom Ellis), but their happiness couldn't last.
Freddie was at the centre of a tough storyline when he was hospitalised with worrying injuries. Little Mo found herself accused by those around her, but it was actually Ben Mitchell (then played by Charlie Jones) who had hurt Freddie. Still, Little Mo decided to move to Barnstaple, knowing she would always be suspected anyway. Oliver chased after Mo and Freddie, pleading with her to move away with him instead - but Little Mo was determined to make it on her own after so long in the shadows. She took her son and made a new life for herself, and we haven't seen her or Freddie since. Now, as the young man surprises his relatives, what's in store and what is the catalyst for his return?
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What can we expect from Freddie, and why is he back?
When EastEnders first teased Freddie's arrival, their cryptic clue was that he would be on a "mission that could end in heartbreak". Now we know that Freddie will clash with his mum's ex-husband Billy shortly after his arrival, before realising his identity and introducing himself as Billy's son. But with Billy, and everyone else in the know, aware of the turbulent history, could that heartbreak involve Freddie learning the truth about how he came to be?
Well, later we'll see Billy's estranged wife Honey (Emma Barton) storming out on him, as she insists that he must contact Little Mo over telling Freddie the truth. Whether Billy has told Freddie everything, or simply revealed that he isn't his dad, is something we'll have to tune in to find out. As Freddie's family try to reassure him, he'll go missing.
If he has come back to find his father, the poor soul is set for an upsetting start to life in Walford. But there's potential for happier times, as early descriptions of Freddie reveal. A typical Slater with a heart of gold, Freddie has inherited his mother's kindness. However, he is also said to have an edge that leads him to stir the pot - sounds like a Slater, alright!
EastEnders' Executive Producer Chris Clenshaw has said: "Freddie Slater is a chaotic 18-year-old with a sensitive soul. A modern-day lad who’s in touch with his spiritual side. He’s philosophical, accepting, but full of mischief and makes mistakes."
Clenshaw also recently revealed: "He's a bit of a cheeky charmer but he's definitely a bit of a lad.
"I call him a modern day lad. But he's also got this spiritual side. He kind of lives in the moment a little bit, he doesn't see too far down the road. Therefore, he doesn't see the consequences of his actions so he gets himself into a lot of trouble quite often!"
Actor Brazier also commented: "He's not trying to prove himself as a bad boy, he's got a lot more depth to him."
We're looking forward to seeing how Freddie fares among the locals!
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