Rod Norman

Rod Norman

Infobox EastEnders character

character_name=Rod Norman
actor_name=Christopher McHallem
first=28 July 1987
last=27 February 1990
status= Single
occupation= Roadie/Market trader

Rodric "Rod" Norman was a fictional character in the popular BBC soap opera "EastEnders". He was played by Christopher McHallem.

Rod the roadie, was a modern day hobo. He dossed in squats and never settled anywhere for long, although he did return to Albert Square several times. Rod was a sucker for female hopeless cases and he tried to help out several 'women in need' over the years, although he was rarely thanked for his efforts.

Rod and Mary

Rod was first seen in Albert Square in July 1987 as an acquaintance of fellow punk, Mary Smith. Rod was a greasy layabout, but underneath his scruffy appearance lay a kind-hearted, genuine guy, who would go out of his way to help anyone in need.

Mary became the first lady who Rod took under his wing. Mary was going through a hard time around the time of his arrival. She had been arrested for solicitation, lost her baby to social services due to neglect and as well as continuing to prostitute herself, she was heavily using recreational drugs. Seeing how desperate Mary had become, Rod made it his mission to help her out of the mess she'd got herself into. He moved in with her, got her a job as a cleaner at The Dagmar, weaned her off drugs and prostitution and was instrumental in helping her work towards getting her baby back, who was now in the care of Mary's parents in Stockport. Although there were initial problems (mainly because Mary's parents refused to give Annie back to her), by the end of the year Mary's father Chris had arrived in Walford and mother and daughter were finally reunited.

Rod really cared for Mary and her baby, but their relationship was always tested, due to Mary's selfish, hot-headed nature. Things came to a head in March 1988 when Rod accidentally forgot to pick Annie up from play-group. Mary was furious, and despite all that Rod had done for her, she proceeded in pointing out all his flaws and humiliating him in public by calling him useless and lazy, after which she threw him out of her flat. In the wake of this, a furious Rod disappeared from Walford on one of his many road trips.Rod returned a month later and despite Mary's feeble apology, he refused to move back in with her and started squatting in an abandoned flat on the Square. Mary took Rod's rejection badly and after witnessing him with another woman, she started using drugs again, much to Rod's concern. Mary spent the subsequent months in a downward spiral, and although Rod made yet another attempt at helping her out, this failed. He washed his hands of her and by May of that year, Mary had fled Walford.

Rod remained in Walford, as did Mary's father, who employed Rod as his bookkeeper and organiser of his haulage company and later Rod took over Barry Clark's market stall. Rod was later forced to act against his principles, when he was threatened by Brad Williams, a dodgy member of The Firm, and forced to stitch up local publican Den Watts. The Firm wanted Den to take the rap for the torching of The Dagmar, so they coerced Rod into providing a false testimony to the police, which implicated Den. Den fled Walford and managed to escape arrest but when The Firm decided they wanted Den dead, Rod was later forced to coerce his whereabouts from his best friend Pete Beale, which led to his arrest and a spell in prison.

Rod and Donna

It was at around this time when Rod started to become close to Donna Ludlow, who had also recently become homeless, and she eventually came to live with him in his squat. Donna was particularly vindictive and everyone on the Square had washed their hands of her after her malicious games were uncovered. Rod couldn't resist a lost cause, and like Mary before her, he tried to get Donna back on the 'straight and narrow'. Donna wasn't as receptive as Mary though, and it wasn't long before she had managed to get herself addicted to heroin. Rod tried to get Donna off the drug but this only infuriated her, and in order to get revenge for his meddling, she planted heroin on him and then informed the police that he was a dealer. Despite this, Rod continued to try to help Donna, even rescuing her from a vicious gang rape when she turned to prostitution, and contacting her adoptive parents to come and sort her out. His efforts were in vain though, and by 1989, Donna had become so depressed and affected by her drug use that she purposefully took an overdose of heroin and died.

Rod and Hazel

Rod later took up lodging with Dot Cotton. It was here that he became involved with yet another hopeless female, Hazel, the girlfriend of Dot's son, Nick. Hazel had arrived in Albert Square under the pretence that her baby was Nick's. This later turned out to be a lie and a ploy to extort money from Dot. Dot was devastated to learn she'd been conned, but she came to forgive Hazel and allowed her to live with her, which led to Hazel and Rod also growing close. When Nick came back and discovered Hazel's games, he beat her close to death and she spent time in hospital. Whilst there, Rod visited her regularly and he helped wean her off Nick. They subsequently became a couple, but the relationship didn't last and Rod left Walford in February 1990 to follow a hippy trail in India.

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