Alex Healy
Alex Healy 2
Portrayed by Richard Driscoll
Gender Male Male
First Appearance 31 March 1997
Last Appearance 23 August 1999
Duration 1997–1999
Episode Count 148
Status Alive
Date of Birth 13 July 1967
Occupation Vicar
Classification Former; regular
RomancesKathy Hills
FatherJeff Healy
MotherJane Healy
SistersMelanie Owen
Katie Healy
NephewsHunter Owen

Reverend Alexander "Alex" Healy made his first appearance 31 March 1997. He is portrayed by Richard Driscoll.


When at school, Alex found himself involved in petty crime to supplement the family income. He was extremely lucky not to have been caught and get a criminal record.


Alex arrived in Walford as the local vicar. He ran a homeless shelter (Bridge House) with the help of Christian follower Sarah Hills, despite protests from many of the residents in Walford. Alex fell in love with Kathy Mitchell while her marriage to Phil had begun to crumble. Alex and Kathy later broke up when she left for South Africa, ignoring Alex's pleas to stay. A while later, Alex left the Square to work in a mission in Somalia.

Creation and development

His first major television role, Driscoll was sent to audition for EastEnders by his agent, and following a screen, the test was given the part of vicar Alex. His first scene was with actress Daniella Denby-Ashe who played Sarah Hills. He has reflected, "I was chuffed. But that soon turned to fear when I had my first scene with Daniella. It was so nerve-racking. I didn't understand the set-up. I don't know how I got the words out."

Alex's most notable storyline was a love affair with Kathy Mitchell (Gillian Taylforth) who was married in the serial to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden). Discussing the storyline, Driscoll suggested that Alex had been "wracked by emotional and spiritual turmoil ever since" sleeping with Kathy. He added, "Alex has got a lot of conflicts. He's been suggesting to his father that he should work at his relationship with his wife - but there he is having an affair with a married woman. He feels a bit of a hypocrite - he feels guilty and ashamed. But the inescapable fact is he's attracted to Kathy. Something strange and wonderful happens to him when he's around her."

Driscoll quit the role in 1999, claiming that it had always been his intention to stay for only a few years: "I felt it was the right time to go. I'd learnt a hell of a lot. The pace and the turnover are incredible. It has been brilliant but I'm an actor, and I want to do different things [...] When I finished, the whole cast gathered to clap me off the set. I felt it was an ending and it was sad. It was emotional because it was my first major role and there were things to prove. But it's time to move on."


A popular character with female viewers, Driscoll claims that he received "loads of fan-mail from women and would get stopped in the street by people who told him: 'If you were my vicar, I would go to church."

The character came under criticism in 1998 following his affair with Kathy Mitchell. One vicar complained that the BBC was portraying Christian characters as "jokes or frauds". Gillian Taylforth, who played Kathy, reportedly had reservations about the plot too as she feared Kathy sleeping with a vicar would cause a negative response from viewers.


Ian Beale | Sharon Mitchell | Kathy Beale | Dot Branning | Martin Fowler | Phil Mitchell | Sonia Fowler | Robbie Jackson | Mel Owen | Ben Mitchell | Billy Mitchell | Kat Moon | Mo Harris | Bex Fowler | Patrick Trueman | Louise Mitchell | Bobby Beale | Stacey Fowler | Jean Slater | Ruby Allen | Honey Mitchell | Denise Fox | Max Branning | Janet Mitchell | Shirley Carter | Jay Brown | Rainie Branning | Jack Branning | Dotty Cotton | Will Mitchell | Whitney Dean | Tiffany Butcher | Amy Mitchell | Dotty Cotton | Kim Fox-Hubbard | Lily Fowler | Ricky Mitchell | Tommy Moon | Dennis Rickman | Tina Carter | Linda Carter | Mick Carter | Bert Moon | Ernie Moon | Kush Kazemi | Pearl Fox-Hubbard | Ollie Carter | Arthur Fowler | Keegan Baker | Ted Murray | Karen Taylor | Keanu Taylor | Bernadette Taylor | Chatham Taylor | Riley Taylor | Hope Fowler | Abi Branning | Arshad Ahmed | Mariam Ahmed | Callum "Halfway" Highway | Hayley Slater | Mitch Baker | Stuart Highway | Adam Bateman | Cherry Slater | Evie Steele | Mica Fox-Hubbard | Bailey Baker | Habiba Ahmed | Iqra Ahmed | Ash Kaur
Characters (Selected)
Saeed Jeffery | Debbie Wilkins | Tony Carpenter | Kelvin Carpenter | Naima Jeffery | Sue Osman | Mehmet Osman | Ali Osman | Vicki Fowler | Paul Trueman | Zoe Slater | Chrissie Watts | David Wicks | Simon Wicks | Ricky Butcher | Diane Butcher | Andrew Cotton | Peter Beale | Liam Butcher | Dean Wicks | Babe Smith | Courtney Mitchell | Grant Mitchell | James Willmott-Brown | Johnny Carter | Tanya Cross | Lauren Branning | Michelle Fowler | Alfie Moon | Annie Smith | Lofty Holloway | Mary Smith
Characters (Selected)
Lou Beale | Andy O'Brien | Pete Beale | Arthur Fowler | Cindy Beale | Steve Owen | Tiffany Mitchell | Ethel Skinner | Angie Watts | Roy Evans | Mark Fowler | Barry Evans | Den Watts | Dennis Rickman | Johnny Allen | Pauline Fowler | Frank Butcher | Archie Mitchell | Nana Moon | Bradley Branning | Pat Evans | Heather Trott | Derek Branning | Lucy Beale | Nick Cotton | Jim Branning | Charlie Slater | Peggy Mitchell | Arthur Chubb (Fatboy) | Ronnie Mitchell | Roxy Mitchell | Steven Beale | Abi Branning | Harold Legg | Hunter Owen
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