EastEnders viewers left baffled as Bobby Beale makes his shock return from prison

14 June 2019, 07:25 | Updated: 14 June 2019, 07:47

Bobby Beale is back in the square
Bobby Beale is back in the square. Picture: BBC One
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

BBC viewers were confused by the new Bobby Beale actor.

EastEnders fans were treated to two episodes of the BBC soap last night as Bobby Beale made his dramatic return.

The baby-faced killer was last seen back in October 2017 after he was sentenced to six years in a young offenders institution for murdering sister Lucy.

Bosses first teased his return in the explosive summer trailer, but made his debut on Thursday evening.

As grandmother Kathy Beale got home after the successful opening of the first gay club in Walford, Bobby was waiting for her.

She said: "Sorry I got back as quick as I could. Hello Bobby."

And it looks as though fans were grateful for the introduction, as many didn’t recognise the actor playing him.

"Why does Bobby Beale look older than me now #eastenders,” wrote one Twitter user.

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Another said: “Wow bobby beale looks different ”

A third added: "Bobby’s regenerated just like his uncle Ben!"

While a fourth commented: "I see why #eastenders got Kathy to say “hello Bobby” because I’d have had NO idea who that was, chill with changing the characters"

Why has Bobby Beale been recast?

Clay Milner Russell is the fifth actor to play Bobby after taking over from previous actor Eliot Carrington.

Before that, Kevin Curran, Alex Francis and Rory Stroud have all played versions of the schoolboy over the last 13 years.

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After deciding to leave the show in 2016, Eliot briefly returned to the role in 2017 when Max Branning used a video of him in prison to blackmail Jane.

What happened to Bobby?

It was Eliot’s portrayal of the character that took viewers through the dramatic ‘Who dunnit’ mystery around Bobby’s half-sister Lucy.

Eliot Carrington played Bobby during the Lucy Beale 'whodunnit'
Eliot Carrington played Bobby during the Lucy Beale 'whodunnit'. Picture: BBC One

Back in 2014, Lucy was found dead on the Walford common which then sparked ten months of one of most dramatic storylines in the soap’s history.

But during EastEnders’ 30th anniversary week in 2015, Bobby was finally exposed as the killer during a live cliffhanger.

After the Beale family agreed to protect Bobby's secret, he became more and more dangerous even attacking Jane with a hockey stick.

Bobby then confessed his crime to the whole pub, which put him in a youth detention centre.

Is the trouble child reformed? Or will he slip back into his old ways?