EastEnders viewers have been left horrified by Gray Atkins' abusive behaviour towards Chantelle.
The solicitor has become one of the BBC soap's most hated villains, after subjecting his wife to a series of vicious attacks which have left her fearing for her life.
But soap boss Kate Oates has hinted that the character could be redeemed in the future...
Speaking to The Sun, she said: "I know there's been a little bit of conversation about the fact that EastEnders always make their be-suited educated characters villains and it's so crucial to his character because he works in the law fighting for the little guy.
"That confuses Chantelle because he's got a social conscience, so he's the opposite of her father who was completely flaky and couldn't hold down a job.
"Plus the fact that he's part of this aspirational lifestyle. Gray has got a lot of redeeming qualities."
Kate added: "Abuse is so often about power. And he enjoys the power that he has over her.
Characters can change and they can be redeemed.
"And characters can change and they can be redeemed, but I believe in those kind of dynamics that ultimately the victim, in this case Chantelle, their first job is to look after themselves and if Gray could be redeemed later than that's up to him.
"If Chantelle was my friend I'd want her out of there and I'd want her to take the kids with her."
She added: "Chantelle's problem at the moment is that she's telling nobody.
"Nobody has a single hint that Gray is like this. So I think in a way, not letting anybody in, anybody at all, she's actually building higher walls around herself but that's going to be part of the problem."
Responding to comparisons between the Gray/Chantelle abuse storyline and the iconic Little Mo/Trevor plot, Kate revealed that she and executive producer Jon Sen have been keen to avoid following the same pattern.
Longterm viewers will remember that Little Mo killed her toxic husband Trevor with a hot iron after years of abuse.
Kate insisted the storylines were different and that would become transparent when the story unfolds.
Soap fans have been left outraged as Gray - played by actor Toby Alexander - has regularly terrorised his wife Chantelle.
Using emotional and physical abuse to manipulate and control her, he beats her behind closed doors, but appears charming and composed to outsiders.
Viewers were distraught earlier this month, when Gray punched Chantelle in the stomach not knowing she was pregnant.
This has led to many fans fearing the worst for Chantelle and her baby - believing that Gray's violence will cause her to miscarry.
Others believe she will choose to abort the baby, to avoid bringing another child into the toxic family home.
Spoilers tell us that the truth catches up with Gray next week, when someone works out he has been abusing his wife Chantelle. But who uncovers their secret?
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