EastEnders deaths: 10 shock deaths that shook-up Albert Square

EastEnders deaths Shakil Kazemi
(Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes)

From the stabbing of Shakil Kazemi to the murder-mysteries surrounding Lucy Beale and Archie Mitchell, we flashback to Walford's biggest shock deaths.

With Shakil Kazemi being shockingly stabbed to death, it seems Albert Square is no safer a place than when EastEnders first began in 1985. Here’s a look back at the most shocking EastEnders deaths...

Shakil Kazemi (25 May 2018)

EastEnders Carmel and Kush Kazemi

Tragedy strikes for the Kazemi family (Picture: BBC)

There were no big stunts or explosions involved, but when teenager Shakil died in hospital after being stabbed by a gang over a stolen bicycle, it was one of the most devastating EastEnders deaths in its history. The storyline was literally torn from the newspaper headlines and a harsh reminder about knife crime.

Bonnie Langford gave a heartbreaking performance as Shakil’s mum Carmel, after demanding to see her son’s body. Shakil’s funeral will be shown soon and the episode will include real-life stories of families who have lost loved-ones to knife crime.

Paul Coker (16 July 2016)

EastEnders Ben Mitchell and Paul Coker

Paul and boyfriend Ben (Picture: BBC)

Paul was the victim of a fatal homophobic attack by four men. Like the recent death of Shakhil, this was another heartbreaking storyline that reflected real-life events. The tragedy saw funeral director Les and his wife Pam having to make the final arrangements for their own grandson. Paul’s boyfriend Ben Mitchell later vows revenge on his and Paul’s attackers.

Lucy Beale (18 April 2014)


The death of Ian Beale’s daughter Lucy became a major murder-mystery leading up to the soap's 30th anniversary and beyond. After Lucy’s body was discovered on Walford Common it was another ten months before her killer was revealed to be Lucy’s little brother Bobby. The Beale family covered-up the crime for months but eventually the terrible truth came out and Bobby was sent to prison.

Michael Moon (31 October 2013)


Michael’s marriage to the equally wicked Janine Butcher was short-lived when he began an affair with nanny Alice Branning leading to a custody battle between Michael and Janine over their baby daughter Scarlett. Janine and Alice eventually joined forces to get rid of menacing Michael and Janine fatally stabbed her hated hubby on Halloween night. Janine was later arrested but somehow found not guilty!

Billie Jackson (9 October 2010)

EastEnders Carol Jackson and Jim Branning

Carol and her dad Jim (Picture: BBC)

Billie’s death was totally unexpected because it happened early in the episode, when his sister Bianca tried to wake the “sleeping” teenager who had been binge-drinking the night before. Bianca began to panic when she realised Billie had stopped breathing.

Unsure what to do, Bianca phoned her mum Carol at work and told her to come home immediately. The scene with Carol (played by Lindsey Coulson) kneeling beside Billie’s body in the living room is powerful stuff.

Bradley Branning (19 February 2010) - EastEnders deaths don't come much more shocking!


As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, EastEnders broadcast a live episode, which promised to reveal Who Killed Archie Mitchell the previous Christmas and would also feature the departure of Max Branning’s son, Bradley.

But it was still a shock when Bradley, who had previously confessed to Archie’s murder, fell to his death from the roof of the Queen Vic while being chased by the police. And in a cliffhanger twist, Bradley’s wife Stacey then confessed to Max she was in fact Archie’s real killer!

Archie Mitchell (25 December 2009)


All the soaps love a good murder-mystery, don’t they? Peggy Mitchell’s horrible hubby Archie had pretty much made enemies of most of Albert Square by Christmas 2009. But it was still a shock when somebody clobbered the pub landlord over the head with the heavy Queen Victoria bust.

It wasn’t until the following Christmas the Mitchell family discovered Stacey Slater had killed rapist Archie. Stacey then fled the country with the help of one-time lover Max Branning.

Den Watts (18 February 2005)


The original tough guy of the Square and Shazza Mitchell’s adopted dad Den (played by the late Leslie Grantham) actually died twice! He got shot by a hitman in 1989 but came back-from-the-dead in 2003, having been hiding out in Spain! However, when Den’s wicked wife Chrissie bashed him over the head in the Vic during a confrontation between Den, Chrissie, Sam Mitchell and Zoe Slater over ownership of the pub, this time it was fatal.

We personally love the moment when Peggy Mitchell arrives at Den's funeral to expose Chrissie as his killer and sends her flying into the open grave! "Chrissie Watts! Murderer!"

Barry Evans (1 Jan 2004)


Poor ‘ol Bazza didn’t stand a chance when he got married to super-schemer Janine Butcher. The tragedy was, car salesman Barry truly loved Janine. Unfortunately she was just in it for the money. While on their honeymoon in Scotland, Janine reveals she’s been having an affair with local dodgy dealer Paul Trueman. The couple get into an argument and Janine shoves Barry backwards and he tumbles down the cliffside, hitting his head on a rock. Cold-hearted Janine leaves Barry to die and runs off.

Steve Owen (1 March 2002)


Since Mel Owen came back to the Square this year, there’s been quite a bit of chatter about her late hubby Steve, the father of her teenage son Hunter. Steve’s exit was literally explosive. His long-running feud with business rival Phil Mitchell got out of hand, causing a shock car crash and the death of Steve when the vehicle exploded. There was some speculation that Steve (played by Martin Kemp) could somehow re-appear in the present day. But it seems unlikely…unless he somehow escaped from his car before it went ka-boom?!

We expect there will be plenty more EastEnders deaths to come!

Simon Timblick

Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters. Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave? Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!

Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy. He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.

Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)

And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.