The Bill legend set to appear in EastEnders as part of Kat Slater plot

Their soap character seems a lot dodgier than the TV copper they used to play

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Actor Eric Richard swaps Sun Hill for Walford next week as he appears in EastEnders for the first time.

Eric, 78, is best known for playing Sgt. Bob Cryer in The Bill for two decades from 1984.

But his ex-cabbie Albert Square character Maurice may not be quite so upright – and he will reveal a devastating secret from the past to Kat Slater.

Maurice is a pal of Kat’s dad Charlie and is introduced to viewers when she seeks out inspiration from Charlie’s former colleagues as she trains to be a taxi driver herself and struggles to learn the Knowledge.

Maurice leans in for a word in Kat’s shell-like (Credit: BBC)

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She meets Maurice in an old haunt of her dad’s but he initially leaves her feeling uneasy with his shifty behaviour.

It is only later that his reasons for being unapproachable and distant become clear – and Kat is left so upset by what Maurice has to say she immediately flees on her moped.

Unfortunately her distress clouds her judgment and she soon has an accident.

At least one other person is injured after she ploughs into them but a panicking Kat does a runner again, leaving the scene and later brushing off the damage sustained by her moped.

Eric Richards
Eric as TV fave Bob Cryer (Credit: BBC)

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But what is the terrible bombshell from the past mentioned by Maurice that has come back to haunt her?

Eric left The Bill after his character was forced into retirement following a hostage situation which saw the veteran copper accidentally shot by colleague PC Dale Smith (played by Alex Walkinshaw, now known for his role as Fletch in Holly City).

He has since appeared in Holby himself, in 2006, Casualty, The Alan Clark Diaries and Dunkirk.

ITV closed the doors of Sun Hill police station for good in August 2010, six years after Eric left his role.

Eric last appeared in The Bill 14 years ago (Credit: BBC)

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EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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