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EastEnders fans spot legendary canine connection to Rainie and Stuart's baby name

EastEnders - Stuart and Rainie Highway hold baby Roland with Vi in the background
EastEnders fans were quick to notice something unique about Stuart and Rainie Highway's baby name! (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders viewers made an unexpected connection during last night’s episode (Thursday, March. 31) as they noticed that Stuart (Ricky Champ) and Rainie Highway (Tanya Franks) named their baby after a legendary dog that once appeared on the soap.

During last night’s emotional EastEnders, Rainie was inconsolable after making the decision to not take their baby son from surrogate Bernie Taylor (Clair Norris) as Stuart wouldn’t get the surgery to cure his breast cancer. 

Vi Highway (Gwen Taylor) also made her explosive return to the Square after months away and was keen to see her new great-grandson.

But her arrival wasn’t received with the warmest of welcomes as a devastated Stuart said: “Do me a favour, Nan, yeah, and go back to wherever it was you came from, because the way things are going, you ain’t got a great-grandson to see.”

Vi was furious and thought that it was Rainie who was to blame, but when she confronted her, Vi soon learned the truth about Stuart’s cancer diagnosis and his refusal to get surgery.

Later on, Vi attempted to comfort Stuart at the café and persuade him into having the life-saving operation, which is when Stuart admitted that he was petrified that he would get addicted to the painkillers.

Vi Highway and Callum Highway

Vi arrived back in Walford to tragic news. (Image credit: BBC)

However, their talk was soon interrupted by Warren, Stuart’s con-man doctor from the retreat, who insulted Vi and infuriated Stuart.

Meanwhile, Bernie and Rainie were having a heart-to-heart back at the house, and Rainie sobbed while holding the baby.

Baby Roland Highway

Rainie was heartbroken while holding her new baby. (Image credit: BBC)

The pair soon showed up to the house and Stuart announced the brilliant news that he was going to have the surgery.

“This is everything we’ve ever wanted. And I ain’t going to let you down. Either of you. I’m going to have the surgery. I can do it. Because I’ve got you two. How can I ever be numb when I’ve got this much, love eh?” he revealed.

Rainie was ecstatic and Vi soon asked, “So, you two got a name for my great grandson, then?”

“Roland,” Rainie beamed.

“Oh, I like it!” Bernie said, “Roly for short.”

Fans will know that Roly was the pet poodle of Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), and lived in The Queen Victoria pub along with her dad Den (Leslie Grantham) and mother Angie (Anita Dobson).

Roly appeared in the very first episode of EastEnders in 1985 and was in the soap until 1993. He has since become a famous canine character amongst fans.

Sharon, Den and Angie Watts with Roly the dog

Roly the dog was a much-loved resident of the Square. (Image credit: Getty)

Fans were quick to make the shock connection of baby Roland’s name on social media…

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EastEnders now airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.