The custody war in EastEnders over little Arthur Fowler descends into full-on violence on Monday 8th July when Martin Fowler (James Bye) takes on his stepson’s biological father Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami) in a battle of the dads – with surprising results.
One-time best mates Martin and Kush have fallen out spectacularly over Mr Kazemi’s sudden desire to formalise custody over the three-year old, the result of a fling between the muscly market trader and Martin’s missus Stacey Fowler (Lacey Turner).
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The disagreement has seen the usually tight-knit Slaters torn apart as Kush’s girlfriend, Stacey’s cousin, Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) has controversially stood by her man. Kush’s confession he kissed Martin’s teenage daughter Bex Fowler (Jasmine Armfield) has also created tension between the two.
Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) decides to knock the fellas’ heads together and suggests they settle their differences once and for all and slug it out man to man. As Bridge Street market becomes a makeshift boxing ring, the boys square up and Martin goes in for the first shove – but the bout is interrupted when Kush spies some tearaways nabbing Mr Fowler’s money belt from the fruit and veg stall.
Giving chase as they run off with the takings, Kush gets the bag back and when begrudgingly grateful Martin catches up with him the pair end up ceasing hostilities with a heart to heart.
Agreeing to put their feud behind them and sort out access to Arthur amicably, Martin and Kush are finally reunited – but the same can’t be said for Kat when she attempts to make amends with Stacey and manages to make the situation worse!
On Tuesday 9th July Kush and Martin secretly plot how to heal the rift between their women, and on Thursday 11th July Big Mo Harris (Laila Morse) convinces Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) to help the brawling brunettes build bridges by luring them both to the Prince Albert, which predictably ends in disaster.
What drastic – and potentially dangerous – lengths will the family go to in order to resolve the aggro? And could it be linked with Stacey’s upcoming temporary exit from the show to accommodate Turner’s imminent maternity leave?
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