Storylines of EastEnders (1990s)

Storylines of EastEnders (1990s)

Storylines of "EastEnders" provides a year by year summary of the most notable storylines from the 1990s in the popular BBC soap opera "EastEnders".


During 1990, the Butchers had to cope with the trauma of Frank's daughter, Diane, running away from home.

Sharon spotted a ring on the market that she recognised as her father's. A local boy had found it in the canal, prompting the police to search it. A year earlier, shortly after Den's disappearance, the police had searched the canal but were unable to find his body. This time, a body was found in the canal, and it was identified as Den's. After Den's funeral, Sharon decided to search for her natural parents but they rejected her. She returned to the square devastated.

Nick tried to poison his mother, Dot, after learning that she had won money on the bingo. Dot guessed and managed to escape unharmed.

The love triangle between Wicksy, Cindy and Ian continued during 1990. Cindy confessed to Ian that she loved another man and that Steven was not his son. In an emotional frenzy, Ian crashed his van and ended up in hospital. He later discovered that Wicksy was Steven's real father. Scared of repercussions, Wicksy and Cindy left Walford with Steven and set up home elsewhere.

The Mitchell brothers - Phil and Grant - arrived in the Square and bought the local garage. They were joined in Walford by their 15-year-old sister Sam.

Frank Butcher decided to concentrate on running the car lot and sold the Queen Vic to a new landlord called Eddie Royle.

Another new arrival in Walford was the Afro-Caribbean Tavernier family.


Mark Fowler, who had returned to Walford in 1990 after two years away, revealed a secret to his girlfriend Diane Butcher - he was HIV-positive.

Ian Beale's business went from strength to strength, while his cousin Michelle began a degree course at the local college and started dating new neighbour Clyde Tavernier.

Grant set his sights on Sharon and so attacked a much older Eddie Royle, who also seemed to have taken a fancy to her. He tried to get back into the army, but failed the psychiatric test.

Ricky Butcher eloped to Scotland with 16-year-old sister Samantha Mitchell. Their families found the map of Gretna Green and knew where to find them. They still got married and when back in Walford got a church blessing.

Eddie Royle was stabbed to death in the middle of the Square during September, and this tragedy rocked the residents of Albert Square. Nick Cotton, a notorious racist, claimed that he saw Clyde Tavernier that night standing by the body holding a knife. Clyde Tavernier was an innocent suspect, but the incident paved the way for Sharon Watts to return to the Queen Vic as landlady. Nick was not under suspicion, but he later confessed to the murder whilst Clyde went on the run with Michelle Fowler, Vicki, and his own son Kofi. Grant was also a suspect with a motive, but no alibi. The Vic was shut down until Sharon managed to secure a license. Grant then proposed to Sharon and they married on Boxing Day in a surprise wedding. Frank went into partnership with Kathy and Pauline in the café and Ian started up the Meal Machine with the help of Hattie Tavernier.


The year began with problems for newlyweds Sharon and Grant Mitchell. He wanted to start a family, while she wanted to concentrate on running the Queen Vic. Frank started to lose money and had to sell his Mercedes and the B&B. Pat, however, started up Pat Cabs which was run from the porta cabin. Pat hit local teenager Stephanie Watson on Christmas Eve, and she was found to have been driving while over the drinking limit. Stephanie survived the accident but died a few days later in hospital as a result of her injuries.

In June, Mark Fowler married Gill, the day before she died of AIDS-related cancer, in scenes complimented for their sensitivity. Meanwhile, Arthur's friendship with Mrs. Hewitt continued to develop, and on Christmas Eve they ended up in bed together.

During 1992, the sexual chemistry between Phil and his sister-in-law Sharon developed, and eventually erupted into passion. They slept together and had to deal with the aftermath. Grant, still unaware of this affair set fire to the Vic in an insurance bid, but failed, and Sharon, who nearly died in the fire, told Grant that they were finished. Phil was prepared to risk everything and tell his brother, but when it came to the crunch, Sharon chose Grant.


The year began with the long-awaited trial of Nick Cotton for the murder of Eddie Royle. Although it was clear that Nick was responsible for stabbing Eddie, the jury's verdict was "Not Guilty."

Pat Butcher received a six-month jail sentence in June after a jury found her guilty of causing Stephanie Watson's death, but she was out of prison before the end of the year.

Pat was not the only Albert Square resident to spend some of 1993 behind bars. Grant ended up in prison following a fight in the Queen Vic. It had all started when Sharon came back from a holiday in America to find the Queen Vic in a state. Grant hit Sharon, and Michelle told the police, and when they turned up at the Vic, Grant attacked one of them, which led to him being convicted of assault and having to spend a short stint in prison. While Grant was behind bars, Phil and Sharon rekindled their affair, only for Sharon chose Grant on his release. Phil then married Nadia, an immigrant looking for legal UK residency. Phil then decided Kathy Beale was the woman for him, and his marriage to Nadia was over within months. One of the most famous dogs on EastEnders met his end here. Roly the Poodle, who was owned by Sharon Watts, was knocked down by a lorry.

Ian and Cindy got back together, and at the end of the year Cindy gave birth to twins. Tragically, on the day that they were born, their grandfather Pete Beale was killed in a car crash along with his girlfriend Rose Chapman.

Pauline found out about Arthur's affair with Mrs. Hewitt, and in the ensuing row she hit him over the head with a frying pan and threw him out. It seemed as if the Fowlers' marriage was over after 28 years. Michelle's seven-year-old daughter Vicky was kidnapped; only the kidnapper made the mistake of visiting a toy shop and the sales assistant had seen the appeals on TV and contacted the police.

Just before his death, Pete Beale got involved with old schoolfriend called Rose Chapman. Rose was married, but when her husband Alfie died, the two decided to start a new life together. But a few months later the couple died in a pre-arranged car crash. Rose's husband's family had not been pleased to hear that Alfie's widow had married another woman, and were determined to gain revenge.

Mandy Salter appeared in Walford, as Pat's friend's daughter, and was left in her care. Mandy went off the rails and whilst being in a relationship with Aidan Brosnan, led him to contemplate suicide. She managed to stop him.

The year ended with young lovers Mandy and Aidan homeless and in despair.

1993 saw the arrival in Walford of Sanjay and Gita Kapoor, as well as Alan Jackson, his wife Carol, son Billy, stepson Robbie, and stepdaughters Bianca and Sonia.


In the year that EastEnders gained its third weekly episode, one of the happiest events was the marriage of Nigel Bates to Debbie Tyler, which coincided with the 1,000th episode of the show. Both events were celebrated in style with a street party in the Square. Debbie had a young daughter called Clare who came to live with them. Clare's father Liam started menacing Nigel, however it was not long before Grant and Phil put that right, and Liam finally gave up his bid for custody of Claire.

Mark met Ruth, a Scottish nanny, while visiting a friend at an AIDS clinic. They decided to marry and moved into Michelle's house. Sanjay Kapoor started an affair with his wife Gita's sister Meena. Sanjay was eventually forgiven, but then found out his sperm count was too low to have another baby.

Pat Butcher's son David Wicks arrived in Walford. Bianca Jackson, part of the newly arrived Jackson family took a shine to him, but soon found out that he was her father. Her mother Carol had slept with him at the age of fourteen, and become pregnant. David had actually given Carol the money to pay for an abortion, but she kept the baby without telling him, and this was the first time in 17 years that their paths had crossed.

Frank Butcher's financial woes were getting worse and he sold his share of the café to Phil. In return, Phil had to torch the car lot for him in an insurance bid. A homeless boy sleeping in one of the cars was found dead and the police suspected arson. Frank left the Square heavily depressed and left no trace. Pat had to pick up the pieces.

Sharon had agreed to help Michelle with a university project. This involved 'Sharongate' a story which had a taped confession of Sharon's affair, which Grant found and used to publicly humiliate his wife and brother at Phil and Kathy's engagement party. The following episode attracted the highest ratings in seven years, as Grant put Phil in hospital, and they were soon joined in Walford by their widowed mother Peggy] .

Earlier in this year, Grant had a visit from his army colleague Dougie Briggs. Dougie took the workers of the vic hostage, and among the hostages were Sharon and Michelle. Dougie then opened fire and shot Michelle, but she survived.


It was a new year and love was in the air. Pat reluctantly started dating car dealer Roy Evans - eventually he moved in with her. Mark Fowler and girlfriend Ruth married. Cindy cheated on Ian with David Wicks (brother of Simon "Wicksy" Wicks, and father of her son Steven). Ricky Butcher was caught between two women - and ultimately chose Bianca over her best friend Natalie. David finally revealed himself as Bianca's father, after Bianca tried to seduce him. Phil Mitchell married Kathy Beale, and within months 45-year-old Kathy was expecting a baby.

Phil's mother, Peggy, was overjoyed except for Ian, Kathy's 26-year-old son, had difficulty coming to terms with his mother having a child so late in life - two years after the birth of his own children!

Michelle began to pull her life together with a new job - later she was offered a position at an American university. Tragedy struck Nigel as his new wife Debbie was killed crossing the road. Her death set in motion a heartbreaking custody battle between Nigel and her ex-husband Liam over Debs' daughter, Clare. The car which struck Debbie failed to stop and the driver was never traced.

Local public money went missing and all the signs again pointed toward Arthur Fowler. The evidence continued to mount and Arthur was sent to prison.

Frank Butcher returned to the Square on Christmas Day after recovering from his nervous breakdown. He found that Pat had re-opened the car lot with David and Ricky in charge. Pat's new man Roy was also there.


Arthur Fowler was freed after his corruption conviction was quashed, but he suffered a head injury during a riot just before his release and died shortly after his release. Following his father's death, 11-year-old Martin began to rebel at school.

During the year, Tiffany found an unexpected shoulder to cry on in Grant Mitchell, and she was soon pregnant with the child of a man who was 14 years older than her.

Residents had a new place to socialize as the Cobra Club opened for business.

In arguably moving scenes, Peggy Mitchell faced her toughest challenge yet as she battled against breast cancer. Ian was shot by a professional hitman while walking in the Square, after wife Cindy had hired one for the job. He survived the injury and returned home before long.

Carol's life began to unravel as she and Alan broke up.


1997 saw many new beginnings in Albert Square. Tiffany gave birth to Courtney and Grant found out that he was, in fact, the father. After a brief period of wedded bliss, the tempestuous twosome were again in trouble. Amid accusations of infidelity, punches were thrown as Grant attacked Tiffany, causing her to move in with Bianca.

Martin Fowler was still reeling from the trauma of his father's death a year earlier, and at the age of 12 was already on the wrong side of the law. He broke into Carol Jackson's house and was later arrested for burglary.

Tiffany's ex-boyfriend, Tony, was attacked in a gay-bashing incident.

Dot was held hostage by her son Nick's prison chum, Damion, and upon her release announced she was leaving the Square.

Romance blossomed as Bianca and Ricky married, while Alan and Carol were reconciled. But all was not perfect - Kathy dumped Phil after learning of his affair with Lorna, as well as being on the receiving end of several of his alcohol-fuelled violent outbursts.

Barry Evans thought he had found the "real thing" with businesswoman Vanessa Carlton, only to discover she was conning him out of most of the family money.

Cindy snatched two of her children, Peter and Steven. Ian went after her, and with help from Grant and Phil, snatched the kids back. Cindy returned to Walford and was charged with kidnapping, but it was still unknown to police that she had hired a hitman in an unsuccessful bid to kill Ian the previous year.


Cindy was found guilty of kidnapping, but did not receive a prison sentence. Later in the year she fought Ian for custody of the children and won. Her plans to leave Walford with the children and her new boyfriend, Nick, went awry when she was charged with Ian's attempted murder. She was found guilty and received a 10-year prison sentence, but died in prison on Bonfire Night while giving birth to her and Nick's child.

The Italian di Marco family arrived in Walford and moved into George Street.

The Square welcomed baby Liam to proud parents Bianca and Ricky, a year after Bianca had been forced to abort an unborn baby girl called Natasha; who was suffering from Spina bifida.

Peggy Mitchell and Frank Butcher got engaged, much to the annoyance of Frank's ex-wife, Pat.

Terry, Tiffany's father, won a fortune betting at the bookies and soon announced his engagement to Irene, Tony's mother, but their wedding day was marred by a surprise guest - Terry's wife.

Kathy, who had left Phil Mitchell, headed for a new life in South Africa with her son Ben.

This was also a rocky on-again, off-again year for Grant and Tiffany. While Tiffany was learning how to be a masseuse, Grant slept with Tiffany's mother, Louise. Tiffany returned, found out about the affair, and turned to Beppe di Marco for comfort. Following Grant pushing Tiffany down the stairs, he was ordered to stay away from Tiffany and was arrested on Christmas Day for attempted murder, only to be released when Tiffany confessed that she had fallen down the stairs during an argument, and had not been pushed. The year ended as Tiffany, attempting to leave Walford for good with daughter Courtney, she ran after Grant who grabbed Courtney, Tiffany ran out into the road and was accidentally run over and killed by Frank, just seconds into 1999.


Walford began the new year still in shock over Tiffany's death.

Kathy Mitchell came back from South Africa to learn that her son Ian was to marry Melanie. A grieving Grant slept with Kathy. Phil, who was hoping for reconciliation with his ex-wife, could not forgive his brother. The Mitchell brothers did a "job" to recover money needed to pay off loan sharks, but the scheme went awry. In a fast and furious car chase through London's Docklands, the Mitchell brothers' getaway car landed in the River Thames. Phil was quickly rescued, but Grant was nowhere to be seen and it was feared that he had been killed.

Matthew was found guilty of manslaughter after being framed by nightclub owner Steve Owen for the death of a crazed ex-girlfriend, Saskia.

Frank married Peggy during April, and they announced their intention to sell the Queen Vic and retire. Frank had his hands full with his 15-year-old Janine - catching her in bed with Peggy's 17-year-old Jamie, who had only moved to Walford the previous year. She soon ran away claiming she was pregnant.

Terry and Irene were also married during 1999.

Carol Jackson arrived back in Walford, but her happiness with new boyfriend Dan was short-lived. Carol was pregnant with her fifth child, but aborted the baby when she discovered that Dan slept with her daughter Bianca, prompting Carol to have an abortion and Bianca, with son Liam in tow, to leave Walford and a devastated Ricky.

A very-much alive Grant re-appeared in Walford to collect his daughter Courtney, and they left for a new life in Brazil.

Grant's brother Phil was now the owner of the Queen Vic and warring with Frank and Peggy, sold his share to Dan for a paltry sum to spite them.

In a special Millennium episode, Melanie Healy married Ian Beale in a double wedding with Barry Evans and Natalie Price. She was emotionally blackmailed into marriage by Ian, who had claimed his daughter Lucy had cancer after a health scare. During the New Year's Eve and wedding celebrations, Melanie discovered Lucy had received the all clear and did not have cancer after all. As the new millennium dawned, she walked out on him and their marriage was over almost before it had started.

Births, marriages and deaths


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