2000 Stacey Slater: What did you do before [joining the army]? Sean Slater: This and that. Stacey: Like what? Sean: Just stuff. All sorts, really. It’s not important. I don’t really remember. Ruby Allen on Sean: He worked in a pub. D.C. Zachary Carson on Sean: He’s got form. Violent conduct. He says it was self-defence. Stacey: I missed my brother when he left. I missed him like mad. Sean: I thought about you all the time. Stacey: You didn’t get to a phone though, did you? Sean: It ain’t that simple. Stacey: It is to me. If you think about someone then you call them or you write to them. Sean: And say what, eh? Stacey: How about you went because you bottled it? That’s the truth, isn’t it? You couldn’t deal with Dad being gone, but me and mum, we had to deal with it, didn’t we? Sean: So I walked out, but you’ve been all right, and I knew you’d be all right with this lot [Charlie’s family]. Being brought up with the cousins, it was better for you and I knew they’d step in and look after you. I knew you’d be all right. Stacey: I was with Mum. Sean: No you weren’t, you were with ... Stacey: I was with Mum. I never saw them. I saw them a few times, but that was it. It was just me and her the whole time. Sean: It can’t have been. Stacey: You ain’t got a clue what it’s been like, what any of it’s been like, have you? Stacey: It's not like you were much help, Uncle Charlie. You stayed well away since Dad died. Sean: You left Stacey, an eleven year old kid, alone with my mother? Charlie Slater: It was difficult. Sean: She was on her own, Charlie. I’d have thought you’d step in and see this was family and all. How’d you leave her on her tod, eh? Charlie: You know how your mum can be. Jean wouldn’t have let us even if we’d wanted to have her. We had our own family problems. Stacey to Sean: All them years — running out, leaving me, a little kid, to deal with Mum — you did that to me. Stacey to Sean: When you’d gone, I used [to have] to climb in through the living room window. Mum locked me out. Stacey: My mum used to sit in front of the telly and pull her eyelashes out and lay them on a bit of paper. That's weird. She was neurotic like it was an Olympic sport, barking. She always was, most probably. It wasn't until after my dad died that it became really obvious. Jean to Stacey: Since the day your father died, you know I can’t eat, you know I can’t sleep and you know I can’t swallow. You torture me, just by breathing the same air. Always have. You make me worse, you. Always have. Jean: I watched you sometimes making my tea, standing on a chair so you could reach the cupboards. If he’d have known that you were going to have to reach them sooner than … I don’t think your dad would have nailed them up quite so high. Stacey: That nasty wallpaper, all brown and mustard and peeling at the corners. Jean: I told you you could never got to the supermarket on your own because of having to cross that big road. What was it I always said? Stacey: “Don’t argue. Mum knows best.” Jean: But you did, of course. Off you’d go with my handbag over your little shoulder. An hour or so later, you’d appear in the doorway with six, seven shopping bags in your hands, full of tins and things twice as heavy as you. Great big grin on your face, so proud. “Here you are, Mum …” Stacey: “… all set.” Bossy cow — I don’t know how you put up with me. Stacey: Stacey Slater, ice-skater — that's what I wanted to be when I was little. My dad used to take me down the rink and then he died [so] I just thought I'd be a gobby cow instead. Abby, Stacey’s friend: You always were a big mouth, Stacey Slater. A big mouth and you got nothing to back it up with. Stacey: I haven’t been down the [ice] rink in years. Jean: No, well, it was your dad, wasn’t it? He did all of that — life and soul. I couldn’t, not after he’d gone. I couldn’t even hold it together. All fell apart. I failed you. I ruined your life. Everything got lost. Stacey: I can’t face people. Charlie: I remember your mum saying that. Jean: One time, I decided I'd had enough. Couldn't see the point. I had a load of my pills. Was ready to neck the lot. I was going to do it — go to sleep and never wake up, get it over and done with. Do you know what stopped me? My daughter. Jean to Stacey: It was you that stopped me [killing myself]. Do you want to know why? Because if I had done it, you'd have beaten me and I didn't want to give you the satisfaction of thinking you'd won. Stacey to Jean: After Sean left, I used to pray that you’d die, just so he’d come home. I nearly put a pillow over your mouth just to stop all of that poison coming out. Charlie: There was a time I thought about [suicide], when I lost Viv. I thought my life was over. What was the point of getting out of bed even? I couldn't wash, I couldn't eat, I couldn't even listen to the radio. Shirley Carter: I’ve had so much crap in my life, but never once have I thought about topping myself. Do you want to know why? Because that’s the coward's way out. Because what you’re doing is you’re leaving all the people that loved you feeling guilty and that ain’t right. No person should be responsible for another one’s happiness. Sean: You never even went round to check on her [Stacey], did you? And you, always going on about your girls and all. Charlie: You were the one who did the disappearing act. Sean: I was a sixteen year old boy, Charlie. You were a fully grown man. Big Mo to Charlie: Listen, you old fool. You’ve never let me down, not once. When Viv died, I had nothing. I thought that was it for me and what was the point anymore? You took me in. You came to my rescue. Without you, Charlie, there wouldn’t be a Mo Harris. Charlie to Big Mo: I don’t know what I’d have done without you all these years. Big Mo, speaking in March 2010: It’s like I said to Fat Elvis, about ten years ago now, “Keep an open mind and you just might find yourself pleasantly surprised.” Kat: You had a horrible [sixteenth] birthday. Zoe: First one without Mum. I hated it. Zoe: Dad always said I should have stayed on at school. Syed Masood: When did my little bro get to be so wise? Tamwar Masood: I always have been. You just never noticed. Masood on Tamwar: A little boy who wouldn’t go to sleep until his father sat there and rubbed his back and went through his times table. Tamwar: Every child thinks their dad is a superhero up to a certain age. Syed, Shabnam, me — we had longer than most. Zainab: When Tamwar had his molar out, we told him he was going on an adventure. Shabnam: It’s my fault for reading too much Harry Potter as a kid. Shabnam: Reading the Koran with my mum standing over my shoulder. Zainab: Do you remember at [Tamwar’s] primary school when I went to see the head teacher and I said to her, “Tamwar needs more attention to be paid to him because he’s getting bored”? What did she do? She looked at me down her long nose and she said, “Tamwar is nothing special.” Well, I was right and she was wrong. Tamwar to Zainab: You [didn’t] have go to up the school and sort things out. The popular gang weren’t leaving me out, I was just a geek with glasses and a plaster and I left myself out every playtime, messing about on a calculator pretending to be a doctor. Zainab to Tamwar: Your brother was never any good at electronics except for his calculator. He used to write rude words using numbers - you know, when you turn it upside down. He used to write BOOB. Ironic, really, seeing as it was Syed. Masood on his mother: She always wanted to go to the London Eye. Stacey to Bradley: You’d already seen all the sights in London when you were a kid. Qadim Shah to his daughter Amira: You set fire to my Persian rug when you were thirteen years old, trying to get my attention. Amira: I can count on the fingers of one hand the people that have stood up to my dad. Linda Carter on hot flushes: My mum didn’t half suffer. She used to walk around upstairs in just her knickers. Mick took to coming into our room backwards. Mick Carter: Yeah, give her a bit of time to find that cardie. It was like watching a woman juggle a sack of spaniels. Linda: I had an old mate, learnt to meditate when her hormones gave out. Les Coker on his grandson: Paul was the master of making us wait. Do you remember when we first used to have him stay at weekends? Go and pick him up, he wouldn’t get in the car until he’d said goodbye to every cuddly toy in his room. Pam Coker: Laurie said he did it every day. It used to drive him round the bend. Lynne Slater speaking about herself in 2000: You're looking at the woman who spent her last three birthdays eating fish and chips on a street corner. Andy Hunter to Dennis Rickman: I never thought you'd make it past the age of twenty-five. I always thought you'd be dumped over some flyover in a bin bag. Alfie Moon: How many [men have you been with]? Kat: I don't know. You stop counting after the first fifty. Serious ones, that is. Alfie: How many serious ones were there then? Kat: Well, if you count serious as being with someone longer than two weeks, there was Mike. Then there was Colin the creep, that was a complete disaster. Then there was Kevin. He was mad. Kevin, Kat’s ex-boyfriend: We were so good together. Kat: For two weeks, yeah. I slept with you, Kevin. We're not joined at the hip. Charlie: I thought you finished with him [Kevin]. Kat: I finished with him a million times. Kat on Charlie: He was never very good at doing angry, was he? Little Mo: He used to let Mum do angry. Kat: He was always better at quietly disappointed. And the amount of quietly disappointed he's given me. Little Mo: When you got your ears pierced, when you got your nose pierced, when you got your wotsit done and he caught that Kevin having a look! Kevin: Why didn't you tell me you were moving [to Walford]? Kat: Because I didn't want you to know, you plank. Charlie on his reasons for moving house after Viv's death: Mo wanted out and I felt guilty about letting [Viv] go, but when you wake up in the morning and look at the wallpaper that you chose together, well, after a while it kind of gets to you. Keith Miller: You’ve probably had a fair few homes in the past. Kevin Wicks: Yeah, and some don’t matter and some do. Sean: I thought about you. Stacey: I thought about you and all. Every day. Jean on Stacey: I brought her up to be a good girl. I tried. It wasn’t easy on my own. Johnny Allen, speaking in 2005: Ruby loves dancing. Five years ago, you couldn't see her for ballet shoes. Ruby: Mum had loads of pairs [of shoes]. Tina Stewart, looking at old photographs: Remember that? Johnny: Barbados, wasn't it? That was in 2000. Tina: Best tan I ever had. Johnny: Do you remember that bloke that kept trying to chat you up? Tina: Which one? There were loads! Johnny: The one I nearly got arrested over. Tina: Only you could take a swing at an off-duty cop. Johnny: Yeah well, he was all over you like a rash, trying to drag you up on the dance-floor. Tina: Thing is, I liked that you had a go at him, protecting me like that. I think that's when I knew we were for keeps. Dean Wicks, looking at old family photographs: That’s Uncle Derek, that is Aunty Connie and that’s Aunty Connie’s mad mate Iris who burnt Connie’s house down making pancakes for the kids. Denise Fox to Chelsea: You [were] thirteen with stick legs, oily hair, towering over the boys. Denise on Chelsea: I’ve watched this straggly little thing grow up into a beautiful swan. You try your best, don’t you? You try and give them the best possible start in life but you don’t always get it right, do you? No matter how hard you try. Denise on Chelsea: I made her who she is. I taught her to always stick up for herself, never let anyone take advantage. Maybe I taught her too well. Whatever else I’ve fouled up in my life, whatever mistakes I’ve made, I always thought my kids would turn out OK. Denise: My girls, they’ve been brought up to know they deserve the best. Chelsea: I’ve been brought up to have standards, that’s all — a bit of time and care over how you look, not just flinging on the nearest bit of lipstick. Shirley: Uptight, you mean? Chelsea: Just dignified — show people you’re a lady and that’s how they’ll treat you. Cora Cross, speaking in 2011: Been a long time since anyone called me a lady. Chelsea: When did you like any of my boyfriends, Mum? Chelsea to Denise: When have you ever shown an ounce of pride in anything I ever did? Denise to Chelsea: You never stuck at anything for five minutes. Chelsea: I used to make [my] own lunch for school. Chelsea to Denise: I thought I was going to lose you. All that time you were with Owen, I was terrified that he’d ... I thought he’d kill you, Mum. Libby on Owen’s father: I would have loved to have met him. Owen: He’d have doted on you. My word, he’d have spoilt you something rotten. My dad was my hero. I wanted you to feel the same about me. Libby: I did. Denise on Libby: She lets her heart rule her head. She always has. Denise to Libby: [Owen] never care[d] about you. He’s only ever been around when it suited him. Owen to Libby: A lot went wrong between me and your mum. Libby on Denise: She’s nowhere near perfect, but she’s always tried to protect me. Denise on Libby: She’s my little girl. Whenever she’s called, I’ve gone to her. Denise: For years, all my life it feels like, I’ve been looking out for them, making sure they’re safe — my girls. Libby: When did you stop loving Dad? Denise: I stopped loving him when he changed, when he started hurting me. Owen on Denise: When you’re hitting the bottle like that, [she’s] not the sort of person you want around, reminding you how bad you’re screwing up. Denise on Owen: He said he’s changed before and he never does. Liz Turner to Owen: Bullied your own family, preyed on [Denise] for years, and you let me think it was just the booze. I never brought you up to do this. Liz: I’ve always stood by my boy even when it took everything I had. Denise on Owen’s apologies: You’re gutted, you don’t know what come over you, it will never happen again — I remember it all. Owen: I swear to you ... Denise: I remember that one and all. Denise: Am I supposed to forget being dragged up the stairs, am I? Getting my face smashed in? Kevin Wicks to Denise: [Owen] damaged you. Denise on Owen: He had me believing that everything was my fault. Denise: I used to think, with Owen, when things were bad, I thought if I didn’t do anything, if I didn’t [tell the police] that somehow it wouldn’t seem like such a big deal, that I’d feel better. Lucas: Owen played a big part in your growing up. Chelsea: That man, he made our lives hell. Chelsea on Owen: He hit me too. Denise: That was an accident. Chelsea: Why — because he was aiming for you? Denise: It was between the two of us. You should never have got in the middle. It was a mistake. Chelsea: Because it was the drink? Because he only got violent when he was drunk? Denise: Yes. Chelsea: He didn't know what he was doing? Denise: Yeah, that's right. Chelsea: Didn't even think about it? Denise: Yes. Chelsea: So how comes Squiggle never knew? How comes, in all that time, she never saw, never had a clue? All that alcohol, and he still knew to wait till she had gone to bed. Hadn't you ever thought about it? Denise: I don't ... I mean, I hadn't ... Lucas: Don't tell me [killing Owen] never crossed your mind back then — the bullying, the beatings. I mean everyone's got a limit, everyone's got a line. We're all human. Don't tell me you never listened to that voice in your head, knowing at any moment it might be Chelsea he took a swing at or Libby. I mean did you never think of your kids, about the danger they were in? Denise: Every day. Of course I did, every single day. Lucas: You expect me to believe you would then just stand by and watch? Denise: OK yeah, I thought about grabbing a knife from the drawer. I thought — but thinking, it ain't doing. Lucas: No, but you would have done. You would have done if you had to. You wouldn't hesitate, not for a second. Chelsea: We ran from Owen in the middle of the night so he was out of our lives for good. A new life — that was the idea. Didn't matter what I wanted. Libby to Owen: Mum took us because you battered her. That's your fault. Denise to Chelsea: The night he hit you, the night we left, and every day since, part of me thought he would find us. Part of me hoped. Owen to Denise: I never stopped [loving] you. Not for one second. Ever since we split up, I haven't even looked at another woman. No point, not interested. Eddie Moon on an old fruit machine: Had one of these in the [antique] emporium once. They’re murder to fix. It took me months how to figure out how these wheels work. Eddie: I had this box, not that big, just an ordinary, nothing-to-look-at box, but it belonged to a cabin boy, barely fifteen when he sailed with Lord Nelson on HMS Victory at Trafalgar. Kept all his worldly goods inside. Eddie on his antiques supplier: Gravy Davey hasn’t let me down yet. Sadie Banks: After Charlotte's dad left, I thought, "Well, that's it. I'll never find a man now," but then I met you. I was so scared you'd do a runner. Tom Banks: I'd already guessed you had a child. You kept saying "we" all night. Sadie: I hadn't realised! Tom: Then I thought, "Do I want to see a woman with a child?" And I looked at your face, the way it was in the candlelight, and I thought, "What the hell?" Sadie on ‘Cry Me a River’ by Mari Wilson: Mine and Tom's favourite song, the first song we ever made love to. Sadie watching her and Tom's wedding video: Look at this bit, this is my favourite moment. The usher filmed it. Look how Tom turns round, look at the expression on his face! It cracks me up every time. Tom on the fire service: Joined up [October 2000]. Never looked back. Tom: We got called to a gas explosion once. It was touch and go whether we'd get everyone out before the walls caved in, but we did. I went to check the back room. There was a baby in a cot, not a mark on him, stone cold dead. Mark Fowler: Smoke? Tom: [Nods.] And outside was a woman waiting with so much hope in her eyes. "You've got my baby. Where's my baby?" And I just ... I couldn't ... I just walked away. Sadie: You never were any good in the mornings. Tom: And you could never take a hint, could you? Sadie to Tom: You bought me presents, you whisked me off to places, you were great with Charlotte, but you never told me you loved me. Tom: We made each other miserable, didn't we? And it wasn't right for Charlotte, that atmosphere. Sadie: You were the weak one. Tom: It was bad, Sadie. It was bitter, it was horrible. Tom on Sadie: I lived with [a] psycho. Stacey on Jean's bipolar: I've lived with it for years. It's like a never-ending nightmare. Stacey on Jean: Trying to read her moods and hoping everything was all right. That used to be me. Stacey to Jean: When I was twelve years old, all my friends used to call you Freaky Jean. My childhood was like some kind of horror film, all these sleazy blokes coming in, giving me sweets to go in the next room. I could hear you through the wall, Mum. It was pathetic and disgusting. Stacey: I was on [a daytime TV show] once - "My Mum's Left Her Boyfriend But I'd Rather Live With Him Than Her." They cut half of it out in the end because there was language. Sadie on Tom: He had affair after affair right under my nose and each time he'd come crawling back looking sorry for himself — "I've been such a fool, Sadie" — and each time I took him back. Sadie on Tom: When I found out about all his affairs, all other girls he's had and there's been a hell of a lot, believe me, I was tempted [to leave him]. Sadie on Tom: He left because he couldn't keep his hands off tarts. Sadie to Tom: You abandoned me, your wife. Left me alone with my little girl. Sadie: How could you ruin it all? How could you throw us back? Tom: I just couldn't cope. I let you down. Sadie: You decided you wanted your own family from scratch. Tom: No. Sadie: You could have had your fling. As long as you'd've come home to me, I'd have understood. Tom on Sadie: Once, not long after I left her, she phoned me up to say that Charlotte was injured playing games at school, [that she had] hurt her neck, she was in for tests but that she may be paralysed. Sadie was in bits. I drove round, held her — what could I do? She told me everything, even the consultant's name, and that we had to wait for the test results. I said, "I'll drive you to hospital," but she would not let go of me. Anyway, we ended up in bed. [It turned out] there was no accident. Charlotte was at a friend's house. She let me think that little girl was in hospital just to get me into bed. Kevin Wicks, speaking about Dean in 2006: Telling people I'm dead — he did that last time he ran away from home. Dean: Kids run away. I did it all the time. Anthony Trueman: Mum slogged night and day to buy [the B&B in Albert Square] and build it up. If she found a penny on the pavement, she'd pick it up and save it.