Kathy Beale return inspired by real life insurance scam

Kathy Beale

Kathy Beale

Kathy Beale's 'EastEnders' return was inspired by the real life insurance scam of "canoe man" John Darwin, actress Gillian Taylforth and producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins have admitted.

Kathy Beale's return to 'EastEnders' was inspired by a real life insurance scam.

Gillian Taylforth first reprised her role as Kathy in the BBC One soap earlier this year despite viewers believing she had died in a car crash nine years ago and she's now revealed part of the inspiration for the storyline was "canoe man" John Darwin, who faked his own death in a boating accident in 2002.

Speaking at an 'EastEnders' Q&A at London's Charlotte Street Hotel, Gillian explained: "When I found out about the plot I said straight away, 'Oh yeah, it happened with the canoe man'. So it is feasible.

"The way the storyline happens, it is right and it could happen and it did happen. With [her husband] Gavin's character and the way Kathy got manipulated and controlled by him, you understand it all and the reason she did it - to protect her sons.

"Bit by bit they [Ben and Ian] find out why she's become the person she has - because of the manipulating person that Gavin is. Then they start to understand that mum's been brainwashed."

'EastEnders' boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins has also defended the storyline, insisting a lot of research went into making it realistic.

He shared: "We always said we would only do it if we had a credible story to bring her back and the [30th] anniversary felt like the right time. It was about going back to our history and bringing back a Beale matriarch.

"We always make sure that each story is rooted in reality and this is the flip side of the canoe man story. It's actually happened in real life.

'We read up on all of our stories in a lot of detail. We have a whole new research team and we're really keeping our feet on ground as much as possible. We wouldn't have done if it it wasn't credible."


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