EastEnders viewers were shocked when Martin Fowler made reference to his dark past during Friday night’s episode of the BBC soap.
Martin (James Bye) was speaking to his daughter Bex, who had been the victim of a nude photo scandal and had run away from school after being bullied.
During the chat, Martin opened up about how he had accidentally killed Jamie Mitchell by running him over outside a tube station.
“You’re not the only one, you know?” he told Bex. “Everyone looking at you, talking about you. Feeling like you’re the local freak.
“All that happened to me when I was your age,” he added. “It’s just one little mistake, a stupid mistake. I thought I’d never get over it.”
Bex (Jasmine Armfield) guessed what he was referring to. “Jamie?” she asked. “Mum’s old boyfriend?”
Martin nodded before adding: “And I deserved that – all the looks, all the talks. But it passed.”
“You don’t deserve any of this. You made a mistake – but nothing compared to what I did. Remember that.”
While viewers admired the way Martin had handled the fatherly chat, they were stunned that he’d spoken about his past.
“I always forget that Martin accidentally killed Jamie, that’s got to haunt him for life yet the character rarely references it #Eastenders,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
“Omg they have remembered Martin running over Jamie. #EastEnders,” posted another.
One fan recalled how much time had flown since then. “Gosh, I remember Jamie Mitchell! Damn, I feel old.”
Jamie, played by Jack Ryder, was a popular character in the soap. He died from spleen damage on Christmas Day 2002 with Sonia by his side.
Martin was played by actor James Alexandrou at the time.
Jack Ryder has gone on to forge a successful career as an actor and director and will be co-director on the new Gary Barlow musical The Band.
James Alexandrou left the soap opera in 2007. “I’ve decided to leave the show to experience other aspects of my industry,” he said.
He has mainly appeared in stage productions since that time.