EastEnders star Neil McDermott reveals Slater drama following Ryan's explosive return

Neil McDermott as Ryan Malloy in EastEnders
There's drama in store for Ryan Malloy's EastEnders return. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders star Neil McDermott has teased some dramatic moments for the Slater family following his dramatic return as Ryan Malloy.

Seven years since he left Walford behind, Ryan is set to return to the Square after finding out that his 12-year-old daughter Lily Slater (Lillia Turner) is pregnant.

Ryan first arrived in EastEnders in 2009 as Whitney Dean's (Shona McGarty) half-brother and after a chaotic two years in Walford, plus a stint in prison he's finally back on the Square.

But for the Slaters, Ryan's arrival is sure to cause drama as they try to deal with the fallout of Lily's pregnancy.

Stacey Slater with Ryan Malloy walking behind her

Ryan's arrival is sure to stir up trouble for his former lover Stacey Slater. (Image credit: BBC)

Talking to What to Watch and other media, Neil revealed that there are going to be some tense moments between the family as he tries to help his estranged daughter.

He said: "Ryan comes back with a bit of an agenda of his own. He’s of course not been around for a while, so whatever he thinks should be the right thing, isn’t going to be taken too well by Stacey and other members of the Square — he hasn’t been around, so why should he have a right to say anything at all, which I understand. 

"In Ryan’s mind though, something massive has happened here and he tries to be of some help. We learn that he’s doing alright for himself and has money that could help the situation. He’s carefully trying to tread his way through to become a bigger part of Lily’s life, but it's whether or not Stacey, Lily and the family want him around."

Ryan fathered Lily after a one-night stand with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), which resulted in their affair while he was married to Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks).

Although the former lovers are at loggerheads on-screen, Neil shared that he loved working alongside his good friend Lacey again during his short stint in Walford.

Lily Slater and Ricky Mitchell walk side by side

Lily Slater is pregnant with her friend Ricky Jr's baby. (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

He gushed: "We’re good pals from when we worked closely together before, likewise with Shona. It’s really nice to come back and work with the guys again and see what they’re up to in their lives and catch up. 

"We very quickly tried to get back into the rhythms of our characters; the way they would talk to each other and how they feel about each other. It was really nice to revisit."

EastEnders 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
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. 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 or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

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.