EASTENDERS: Viewers reckon they’ve worked out Derek’s shock criminal past

His 'chequered' past has come as something of a surprise to everyone...

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Fans of EastEnders will know that anyone living in or around Albert Square has or will end up having a criminal record.

In fact looking at the current cast, you’d be hard pressed to point out one person who HASN’T had a brush with the law.

Well, now, it turns out that nice guy Derek Harkinsin has a record too.

What is Derek’s secret? (credit: BBC)

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Only for now, we’re not sure what it is… well, maybe.

In last night’s episode, Derek received a call from Yolande Trueman, informing him that hiding his criminal record could result in him losing his job at the Minute Mart.

The call shocked both Derek and viewers who started to speculate about what he could have done in the past that had left him with a record.

Derek was told that his criminal record meant he coddle lose his job (Credit: BBC)

Luckily, EastEnders’ oh-so-worthy and heavy handed scriptwriters appeared to give viewers a big clue as to his ‘crime’ by dropping some very obvious hints.

After Derek had a row with Keegan Baker in the shop during which he was branded a “queer”, he later turned to Johnny Carter, who is also gay, to scold him for not stepping in to the argument.

“That sort of thing doesn’t affect you,:” he said of Keegan’s vile comments.

“I wish I could explain, I wish I could give you the first clue about what men like me had to do to make it as easy as it is for you young men now.”

He continued: “Can you imagine the shame Johnny? The heartbreak of having to listen to that same sort of thing every day?

“Or being scared to look at someone in a certain way in case it was misconstrued or in case you got arrested?”

Derek told gay Johnny that he didn’t understand what gay men like him had to go through back in the day (Credit: BBC)

Johnny apologised for not taking a stand, but Derek continued to preach.

“I want you to stop turning the other cheek.

“You can’t have it both ways, you can’t walk down the street holding another man’s hand and not call someone out for saying stuff like that.

“Do you think I wouldn’t have killed to be like you? To be accepted?”

Derek told Johnny he should have taken a stand against homophobic Keegan (credit: BBC)

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Remembering that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of being gay, viewers were fast to take to social media to work out what Derek’s secret was and most of them came up with the same answer, .

One said: “Bet Derek’s criminal record is pre 1967 liberalisation of gay rights. Love @ bbceastenders but come on stop the preaching please.”

Another, who claimed not to have been a fan of the show recently, added: ” EastEnders is awful recently. But I do feel for Derek. Surely his ‘crime’ is to do with homosexuality back when it was illegal?”

A third was also thinking along the same lines: “My guess… Derek was arrested for under the Sexual Offences Act (Pre-1967) #50YearsLegal.”