EastEnders boss Kate Oates explains why Dennis Rickman Jr had to die

Dennis drowned during the boat accident

Senior executive producer of EastEnders, Kate Oates, has explained why Dennis Rickman Jr had to die.

Kate, who is also head of continuing drama at the BBC, recently spoke at the press screening for the dramatic episodes.

She said: “When we discussed this, and it’s true of any soap or drama, you want consequence.

“That is the main thing that comes out of the death we are seeing. It is where it goes, it’s the people who are left behind and the story that it generates. It is very well thought out.”

Dennis Rickman Jr dies EastEnders boat 35th anniversary week
Dennis died in the show’s 35th anniversary week (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

She added: “There is something almost Greek about this particular person as it could be argued it’s been set up for quite some time.

“We discussed in depth and actually had a lot of arguments about it. The conference room is a vibrant place.

“We discussed lots of different options but we knew in our hearts this was the story that would really power us through months and months and months of future stories which we are really excited about.”

In Friday night’s episode (Friday February 21 2020) viewers saw the finale of the soap’s 35th anniversary week.

Dennis Rickman Jr Sharon voicemail EastEnders boat tragedy 35th anniversary
Dennis’s death will set off future storylines (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

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In a previous episode, Ian Beale found out Dennis was responsible for the online abuse of Bobby Beale, who is Ian’s son.

This abuse led to Bobby being badly beaten and needing a life-saving operation.

Ian locked Dennis in a room on the lower deck of the boat, planning to hand him into the police after the party.

But the boat ended up crashing and the lower decks started to take on water.

Ian tried to save Dennis EastEnders boat tragedy 35th anniversary week
Ian tried to save Dennis (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

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Before the boat crashed, Dennis left a voicemail for his mum Sharon telling her what Ian had done, however Sharon was busy giving birth.

Although Ian went back for Dennis and managed to get him out of the room, a surge of water came through the hallway and Dennis ended up drowning.

Later Ian and Sharon were told about Dennis’s death leaving them both devastated.

This week, Ian is desperate to hide his guilt as Sharon comes home, but will he end up confessing all?

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

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