EastEnders’ Fatboy Star Breaks Silence On Shock Return Amid Cindy Beale Comeback

Ricky Norwood reprised his role as Arthur "Fatboy" Chubbs – and fans are calling for a full-time return.
Ricky Norwood as Arthur 'Fatboy' Chubbs in EastEnders
Ricky Norwood as Arthur 'Fatboy' Chubbs in EastEnders

EastEnders fans have been looking forward to Cindy Beale’s return for weeks but her comeback came with an added surprise.

Michelle Collins made her long-awaited arrival back in Albert Square this week as she reunited with her former husband, the Queen Vic’s new landlord George Knight.

Viewers found out that Cindy had been married to George in Marbella, but abandoned him in 2014.

In a flashback scene, it was revealed that Cindy had actually been living in Spain under witness protection since “dying” off-screen while in prison in EastEnders back in 1998.

The scene was interspersed with archive EastEnders footage from 2014, which revealed that Cindy’s protection officer DCI Mary Nicholls had told her about the death of her daughter Lucy Beale, which sparked her return to the Square.

While there, Cindy heard the cries of Ian and Peter Beale as Lucy’s death was confirmed – but DCI Nicholls stopped her in the street and explained that if she made her appearance known, she’d put her family in danger.

The duo were then interrupted by Arthur “Fatboy” Chubbs, who asked for the time before being sent on his way.

Imagine telling someone 6 months ago they’d be a scene between Cindy Beale and fatboy #EastEnders pic.twitter.com/BiSRwZghra

— Meena Woodburn (@Meena_jutla) August 29, 2023

Cindy was then told that her decision to go back to the Square had put George in danger, meaning she couldn’t return to Spain either, and instead had to find another new home.

Actor Ricky Norwood has now said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be asked to reprise his role for the flashback.

He told RadioTimes.com: “Working with Michelle Collins was surreal and I’m so delighted I got the call to be a part of Cindy’s big return.

“Being back in the Square felt like coming home and it was so lovely to see old friends and new faces – but of course I missed not having Mrs B there.”

“Mrs B” was Fatboy’s nickname for Dot Cotton, played by the late June Brown.

Fatboy suffered a similarly murky fate as Cindy and was killed off in 2015. He had been kidnapped while working for Ronnie Mitchell, when the vehicle he was hidden in was placed in a car crusher at a scrap yard.

There’s long been speculation that Fatboy might also not be dead after all, especially as Dot’s family received a card addressed to Mrs B – a nickname only he used – after her funeral.

Many fans are now calling for his full-time return – and there’s a strong theory about how this could play out on-screen:

Oh bring fatboy back please!!! Why else would his cameo be there? We need him back

— Dave 🏴 (@DavidMackayy) August 29, 2023

why else would they show fatboy specifically if he wasn’t going to meet mary later for his own witness protection… he’s alive trust me #EastEnders pic.twitter.com/ryzycQdckG

— zero (@sukiologist) August 29, 2023

There’s no way they didn’t bring Fatboy back for a reason… he’s in witness protection too after that little scene with Cindy’s cop 🤣 #EastEnders

— jodie (@__jodie___) August 29, 2023

They gotta bring Fatboy back and use ‘he saw Cindy, got threatened and put into witness protection’ as a retcon SURELY https://t.co/A2DVScSEpL

— rhys (@rhyssuxx) August 29, 2023

i’m gonna use this as proof that fatboy is in witness protection #EastEnders

— zero (@sukiologist) August 29, 2023

The rest of this week’s episodes will see the fallout from Cindy’s arrival continue.

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One and iPlayer.


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