Pete Beale

Pete Beale

Infobox EastEnders character 2

character_name=Pete Beale
actor_name=Peter Dean
creator=Tony Holland
first=19 February 1985
last=13 May 1993
dob=11 March 1945
dod=9 December 1993
books="Home Fires Burning", "Swings and Roundabouts"
occupation=Market trader
family=The Beale/Fowler family
father=Albert Beale
mother=Lou Beale
brothers=Harry Beale
Ronnie Beale
Kenny Beale
sisters=Maggie Flaherty
Dora Beale
Pauline Fowler
wife=Pat Harris (1961–1966)
Kathy Hills (1968–1991)
sons=David Wicks
Ian Beale
grandsons=Joe Wicks
Peter Beale
Bobby Beale
granddaughters= Bianca Jackson
Karen Wicks
Lucy Beale
great grandsons=Liam Butcher
Morgan Jackson-King
great granddaughters=Natasha Butcher
Tiffany Dean
aunts=Flo Medeemey
Liz Medeemey
Elsie Medeemey
Queenie Medeemey
Doris Miller
uncles=Terence Medeemey
nephews=Mark Fowler
Martin Fowler
Eamonn Flaherty
Conor Flaherty
John Flaherty
Tommy Flaherty
Elizabeth Beale
nieces=Elizabeth Beale
Michelle Fowler
great nephews=Eamonn Flaherty Jr.
Declan Flaherty
Carl Flaherty
Mark Fowler Jr.
great nieces=Rebecca Miller
Colette Flaherty
Kylie Flaherty
Mary Flaherty
Vicki Fowler
great aunts=Dolly Beale
2nd cousin once=Nellie Ellis

Peter "Pete" Beale was a fictional character in the popular BBC soap opera "EastEnders". He was played by Peter Dean, and made his first appearance in the programme's first episode, on 19 February 1985.

Pete the local fruit and veg trader, preferred to keep his life as uncomplicated as possible, but that wasn't always so easy in Albert Square. He was married twice, both ending in divorce. He finally found happiness in the shape of Rose Chapman, but the relationship turned out to be his undoing when the family of her mobster husband 'arranged' a car accident, which killed them both in 1993.

Character creation and development

Pete Beale was one of the original twenty-three characters invented by the creators of "EastEnders", Tony Holland and Julia Smith. Holland took the inspiration for some of the series' earliest characters from his own London family and background. Pete was based on one of his cousins, the twin brother to Pauline and son of Lou; a family set-up that would eventually be recreated on-screen and would go on to be forever hailed as the first family of "EastEnders", the Beales and Fowlers.cite book |last=Smith|first= Julia|authorlink= Julia Smith|coauthors=Holland, Tony|title= EastEnders - The Inside Story |year=1987|publisher=Book Club Associates|id=ISBN 0-563-20601-2]

Pete's original character outline as written by Smith and Holland appeared in an abridged form in their book, "". Pete's favourite food is kebab.

:"Pete runs a fruit and veg stall in the market....married very young to Pat - It turned out to be a total disaster. They were too young, rushing into a difficult life for all the wrong reasons, and truthfully, his wife was a vicious shrew...he divorced his wife and married Kathy when he was 24...Ian was born a year later. It took Kathy and Pete about ten years to woo Lou round to the idea of their marriage, and she can still sometimes be a bit cutting about it...She doesn't believe in divorce...He did have crazy dreams of making something of himself, he was going to be singer, a red-coat, run his own hotel...On special occasions it's always Pete who's the life and soul of the party...His two sons by his first marriage are nineteen and twenty and he hardly sees them...If it wasn't for Thatcher, he'd consider voting Tory...Never works on the anniversary of his dad's death, and with Pauline, escorts his mum to the cemetery. He has a good relationship with Kathy, emotionally and sexually (Maybe he's a little concerned that she's keeping her good looks a bit longer than he is?) (page 55)

Peter Dean was an actor known to Smith and Holland for his role in the crime drama "Law and Order". Dean was from the East End of London and his family was still working on a stall in the market. Despite the fact that he gave a disappointing reading at his audition his tremendous enthusiasm for the part and for the show made up for it. He was subsequently offered the part.

Pete Beale was initially scheduled to be a short-term character. It had been decided way in advance that the big New Year cliffhanger of 1986 would be the killing-off of a character and the chosen person had to have the greatest effect on the remaining characters. Pete Beale was the obvious choice as his death would leave Kathy a widow and Ian (his son) would have to take over as head of the house. Lou was his mother, Pauline his sister and Den Watts his best-friend, and everyone knew him from the fruit and veg stall, so storylines were planned in which Pete would have a heart-attack; a shock tactic to revive interest in the show after the excitement of Christmas. At the last minute, Julia Smith got 'cold feet' and decided that Pete was too useful a character to lose so early in the programme's history; like Pauline he was considered a linchpin character. A new shock storyline was needed and so it was decided to introduce Den's infamous mistress Jan Hammond into the show instead.One of the most notable storylines featuring Pete revolved around the paternity of his alleged son, Simon Wicks. Pete was shell-shocked to discover that Simon, was not really his child, and that he was possibly the son of his brother Kenny. The storyline spanned several years, since the arrival of Pete's first wife Pat in 1986, til the long awaited showdown between Pete, Pat and Kenny in February 1988. The episode written by Tony McHale contained shocking revelations that would effect several relationships on the Square for years to come.cite book |last=Brake|first= Colin|authorlink= Colin Brake|title= |year=1995|publisher=BBC Books|id=ISBN 0-563-37057-2]

The character of Pete lasted in the show for eight years, and was eventually written out in 1993 when the writers felt that the character had come to a natural end. There was initially talk of Pete getting back together with his ex-wife Kathy, but it was felt that it would have been a retrogressive step, and it was dismissed. The character was killed off-screen in December 1993 and brought back to Walford to be buried.


Pete was the twin brother of Pauline Fowler and the father of Ian Beale. He led a simple life selling fruit and vegetables on his market stall and obeying mother Lou's every command. His market stall had previously been run by his father Albert, but was passed to him upon his death.

Pete was best friends with the local publican Den Watts; their friendship went back to their school days. Pete often provided Den with an alibi to his wife Angie, whenever he needed to slip away to see his mistress.

Pete married Pat Harris in the 1960s, when he was 18 years old. He married her because he thought she was pregnant, it turned out she wasn't and Lou always felt that it was a ploy to trap her son. While they were together, they had two sons, David and Simon, who Pete believed to be his. Yet Pat couldn't settle down and embarked on an affair with another man named Brian Wicks. Pete eventually left her when she was six months pregnant with Simon, there was a messy divorce in 1966 and soon after, Pat married Brian and he took on responsibility of her two sons. Pete had little contact with his children following this.cite book |last= Kingsley|first= Hilary|title= The EastEnders Handbook |year=1990|publisher=BBC books|id=ISBN 0563362928 ]

Three years after leaving Pat, Pete married Kathy Hills, although there was again strong opposition from Lou, who wouldn't condone her son's divorce. A year later they had their only son Ian and the three originally lived together in Walford Towers. Pete often struggled to understand his son. He wanted him to be macho and forced him to take up boxing in 1985 in an attempt to steer him away from cooking. Later on, Pete began to feel proud of Ian's business brain, but he could never stomach his calculating ruthlessness.

Pete and Kathy's marriage was far happier than his first, although problems arose in 1985 after Nick Cotton broke into Dr. Legg's surgery and stole Kathy's medical records. He used the information he had unearthed to try and blackmail Kathy, and she was eventually forced to tell Pete the secret she had kept for years - that she had been raped when she was fourteen and the resulting child had been given up for adoption. This revelation was hard for Pete to take - he couldn't believe that Kathy had never told him this before, and the seeds of their eventual marriage break-up were sown.

Paternity of Simon Wicks

1985 saw the arrival of one of Pete's sons. Simon Wicks had come to Walford in order to build a relationship with his supposed father. Pete was overjoyed to have his son back in his life, however things turned sour in 1986 with the reappearance of Simon's mother, Pat Wicks. She came back to Walford to maliciously inform Pete that Simon wasn't actually his son. Many rows erupted, but Pat's old sparring partner, Lou, was quick to step in, and she managed to convince a devastated Pete that Simon was his. Later in the year however, when Pat came back to the Square to work in The Queen Vic, it was divulged that Lou also believed Pat to be telling the truth. Lou thought Simon was the product of a secret affair Pat had with Pete's older brother Kenny. A vicious row erupted between Pat and Lou, with Lou adamant that Pat should keep her sordid affair a secret and not upset her close-knit family. However, Pete's sister, Pauline, overheard the showdown and told her twin brother everything!cite book |last= Smith|first= Rupert|title= |year=2005|publisher=BBC books|id=ISBN 0-563-52165-1]

Pat revelled in the trouble she'd caused for the Beales and spent the rest of the year rubbing Pete's nose in it. In February 1987 Pat was assaulted by a man known as the Walford attacker, leaving her unconscious and close to death in the middle of the Square. At the time it was not immediately clear whether Pat had been assaulted by the mysterious attacker, or someone else. Because of their past animosity, Pete became prime suspect and during an interview with the police, he lost his temper and ended up assaulting an officer. Pete was later cleared of any wrongdoing when the real culprit was caught attacking Debbie Wilkins.

The arrival of Kenny Beale in 1988 brought the question of Wicksy's parentage to the fore once again. Kenny was extremely shocked to find out that Simon might be his, and was furious with both Pat and Lou for keeping it from him. Meanwhile, Pete was furious with Kenny for betraying him with his ex-wife, whilst Pat on the other hand seemed to be enjoying the commotion that she'd caused. Thinking that he now had a son, Kenny attempted to bond with Simon, but this frightened Pat and she began to fear she would lose him. She then informed Simon and the Beale brothers that she was unsure which of them was the real father, adding further confusion. It seemed Pat had orchestrated the entire situation just to get at her arch-nemesis, Lou, as she later went to gloat to her about masterminding the whole plot to bring down the mighty Beales. Lou was forced to accept defeat.

Just when the matter seemed closed, Pat revealed that not only were Kenny and Pete possible candidates for Simon's father, but Den Watts, who Pat had also been sleeping with at the time, was also in the running. Pat later ruled him out, but then cryptically demanded that he sleep with her, or it would be spread around that he was the father!

It seemed that that the identity of Simon's real father would never be discovered. However, in July that year, a dying Lou pleaded with Pat to finally come clean to Simon. Pat did this and in a shocking turn of events she revealed that neither Pete nor Kenny were his real father, and that it was, in fact, the man he had called stepfather all his life - Brian Wicks, who she had also been sleeping with at the time.

Trouble for Pete and Kathy

In 1988 Kathy got herself a job as a barmaid at The Dagmar winebar, working for James Willmott-Brown. Pete was opposed to Kathy working there, especially when it became clear that Willmott-Brown was romantically interested in her. Rumours started to spread around the square about the nature of Kathy and James' relationship, which infuriated Pete and the two were involved in regular arguments. One evening Pete launched into a scathing attack on Kathy regarding the 'revealing' clothes that she wore to work. He then left Walford to take his mother on a trip to Leigh-on-Sea, leaving a dishevelled Kathy to seek solace from James after work. However James used this as an excuse to attempt to seduce Kathy, and after he was rejected he turned nasty and Kathy ended up being raped.

Upon his return Pete was mortified to learn about his wife's rape. Pete did his best to comfort her, but Kathy rejected him, and Pete then tried a hard-line approach, simply telling her to sort herself out. Pete later began doubting that his wife had been raped after all, entertaining the possibility that the sex was consensual. Kathy became depressed and isolated from Pete. He tried to make things better by taking her on holiday to Majorca, but even this didn't help; when they returned to the Square, they were more estranged than ever.

Pete began drinking heavily to drown his sorrows, which led to him getting arrested for drink driving one night and he lost his licence. To top it off he was heavily grieving following the death of his beloved mother, Lou. After spending months in a drunken stuper, Kathy finally decided to finish their marriage in January 1989. Pete then went into an even further decline. Still drinking heavily, he stole Mehmet Osmans car, vowing to kill Willmott-Brown, who he blamed for all his unhappiness. He crashed into another car, injured a passenger and nearly killed Roly the poodle.

At the end of August 1989 Pete's luck improved when he won £1000 on the premium bonds. After another court appearance, this time for his second drink-driving offence, Pete was given a three month suspended sentence and banned from driving for five years. To cheer himself up he decided to take a long holiday in New Zealand to visit his brother Kenny. When he returned he found that Laurie Bates had arrived in Walford, taken over a pitch and had began to sell fruit and veg in direct competition to his stall, and, to make matters worse, Laurie had become romantically involved with Kathy. Pete and Laurie were regularly at loggerheads and Pete tried to retaliate towards Kathy's new relationship by producing his own love interest in the shape of Barbara, a woman he'd met in New Zealand. It was a bluff however, as Pete still wanted Kathy back more than ever, but she made it abundantly clear that she had moved on. Pete and Barbara's relationship never really took root and she left Walford soon after.

Final years on the Square

The summer of 1990 brought Pete more troubles, when the market's future was threatened by a possible development along Turpin Road. Pete and the other traders fought a long campaign to save their market, and a man from the council, Stuart Kendle, even tried to bribe Pete into dropping his opposition to the new development. Pete refused and ended up having his stall demolished by a JCB in the process. Newcomers Grant and Phil Mitchell were impressed by Pete's 'bottle', and broke into the council offices to steal evidence proving Kendle was corrupt. When this information was put in the hands of the Borough Surveyor, the development plans were dropped and the market was saved.

Later Pete misunderstood signals from the forthright lecturer Rachel Kominski, and fell flat on his face when he made a pass at her. By 1991 his divorce to Kathy had been finalised and he had become so lonely that he decided to join a dating agency. However, the women he met were all unsuitable and this only sought to make him lonelier still.

Pete then began to busy himself in the affairs of a young boy named Jason, who had began hanging around the fruit and veg stall. When Pete discovered that the boy had been beaten by his own father, he felt he had no choice but to inform social services. Later when he tried to find out what had happened, he met Jason's mother who accused him of interfering in things that didn't concern him and of being a pervert! Pete was very upset that his well-intentioned actions may have left the boy worse off than before.

1992 saw the reappearance of James Willmott-Brown, freshly released from prison. He hoped to rebuild his life on the Square, but Pete had other ideas. He rounded together a mob and traced Willmott-Brown to his hotel. Pete and his mob forced him into their car and drove him to Pete's high-rise flat building, where Pete threatened to throw him off the top unless he signed a paper stating that he would sell out of Walford and never return. Immediately after, Willmott-Brown phoned his solicitor and took out an injunction on Pete, but proceeded to move to the Square. He continued to send Kathy tapes confessing his undying love for her.

Eventually Kathy and Pete went to confront James at his house and he and Pete nearly came to blows. An emotional Kathy was finally able to confront James and persuade him to leave Walford and she also managed to convince Pete — who had been hoping for a reconciliation — that their marriage was well and truly over.

Departure and death

Pete finally found a new love interest in 1993, when a chance meeting reunited him with an old school friend of his sister's, Rose Chapman. A romance began which was curtailed when it became clear that not only was Rose married, but she was married to a local gangster named Alfie Chapman, who had a reputation for extreme violence. Although Alfie was safely locked up in prison, his family were not and they made it quite clear that they did not approve of Rose seeing Pete. In March that year, Rose learned that Alfie had a terminal disease and she decided to stop seeing Pete to nurse Alifie through his remaining months. However by May she had returned to Walford and to Pete, leading to Rose being beaten by Alfie's family. Pete was furious and he rashly decided to take Rose and go into hiding so they could be together in safety, away from the Chapmans. This was Pete's last appearance.

Pauline was distraught by her brother's sudden disappearance, and, when she heard that Alfie Chapman had died in prison, she advertised for his return. Pete replied, and the residents of Albert Square planned a party to celebrate his imminent return. However on the day he was due back, Pauline received a visit from the police with the news that Pete and Rose had been killed by a hit-and-run driver in Gloucester, paid for by the Chapman family.

Pete's body was returned to Walford where he was buried in December 1993.


External links


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