Who is Bobby Beale in EastEnders and why did he leave the soap?

Bobby Beale has been a character full of drama since being introduced in 2003.

His life as a baby saw arguments erupt over who his father was, and as he grew older he turned into a murderer.

Bobby is now set to return to Albert Square after completing his time in prison, with Clay Milner Russell becoming the latest actor to take on the role.

Here is everything that you need to know about Bobby Beale and his history on the show.

Who is Bobby Beale?

Bobby is the son of Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) and Laura Beale (Hannah Waterman), and he was later adopted by Jane Beale (Laurie Brett).

He was first introduced in July 2003 and it was originally thought that he was the son of Gary Hobbs.

Following Laura’s death, after tripping on one of Bobby’s toys and falling down the stairs, Bobby’s birth certificate showed that Ian was the father.

Bobby later built a strong relationship with Jane as she became his stepmother, and she soon saw him as her own child.

When Jane left Walford temporarily, Bobby became angry and ended up bullying Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith), later disappearing to go and find Jane.

Things then took a turn for Bobby and the rest of the Beale family when his sister Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) was killed in May 2014.

EastEnders had a long-running ‘whodunnit’ storyline that left viewers wondering who the murderer was for nine months – and then on the 30th anniversary episode in February 2015, it was revealed to be Bobby who killed her in a shock twist.

At the time, Jane explained how she had discovered Lucy’s body and realised that Bobby was the murderer, so she moved the body and convinced Bobby that he didn’t kill her.

The Beale family tried to maintain the secret and Ian had Bobby sent away to a boarding school, but he was unable to continue paying the school fees.

They eventually decided that they were no longer able to protect him and Bobby later confessed the murder to the police.

Why did Bobby Beale leave EastEnders?

In 2016, Bobby attacked Jane, nearly killing her, and later decided to confess to the attack – and Lucy’s murder – with the hope that he could get help.

Bobby initially left the soap in June 2016 after he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and unlawful killing. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

The character was last seen when he made a brief appearance in an episode in October 2017, when a prisoner revealed footage of him which is shown to Jane by Max Branning (Jake Wood).

Various child actors have played Bobby during his time on the show, with Eliot Carrington playing him between 2014 and 2017.

He was also played by Kevin Curran between 2003 and 2007, Alex Francis until 2012 and Rory Stroud between 2013 and 2014.

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