Albert "Bert" Atkinson, played by Dave Hill, makes his first appearance in Albert Square on 24 February 2006. He left Walford on 23 July 2007, but made an unannounced return on 28 August 2017, making his final appearance on 29 August the same year.
Bert is from Slaithwaite in Huddersfield, Yorkshire and is proud Yorkshireman, who frequently mentions his origins. He can often be found boasting around Albert Square about how Southerners do not match up to him and his fellow Northerners.
He is a friend of Joe Macer, and comes to Walford to visit him, having heard from Joe's daughter Megan Macer of his marriage to Pauline Fowler. On the day he arrives, he is mistaken for a tramp by Bradley Branning and interrupts Martin and Sonia Fowler's evening by letting himself into their house while Joe and Pauline are on their honeymoon.
He flirts with Mo Harris and takes her back to Pauline and Joe's house, where the newlyweds walk in on them kissing on the sofa. Mo identifies a tattoo on his upper left arm as one obtained in prison, and realises that Bert knows Joe from prison. When Mo finds Bert in an alley in a tight embrace with Ina, a local market stall holder, she splits up with him and reveals his secret to Dot Branning. After Pauline discovers Joe and Dot's betrayal, Bert moves in with Dot, Jim, Sonia and Bradley at 25 Albert Square. He later makes up with Mo and their passion starts again.
In November 2006, Bert receives a visit from a man telling him that his ex-wife Evie Brown wants to see him. She is dying of breast cancer, and tells Bert that she still loves him, even after 38 years of not seeing each other. She also reveals that their daughter, Karen, died of breast cancer in 2004. Bert brings Evie back to Walford to stay with Pat Evans while the rest of her family are away, and Bert moves in with her, breaking up with Mo. Evie dies days after arriving in the Square but she shocks Bert by telling him that he has a grandson called Jay Brown. At Evie's funeral Bert meets Jay for the first time but does not introduce himself because he is too afraid of what may happen. Bert moves out of Pat's house and in with Patrick and Yolande Trueman.
On 5 February 2007, Beryl, the carer of Bert's grandson, Jay, brings Jay to live with Bert, saying she cannot look after him anymore. Bert tries to teach Jay not to steal, as he steals from Deano Wicks's stall and Patrick and Yolande's shop. Pat later persuades Ian Beale to let Bert and Jay live at 15a Turpin Road. He is referred to an eye specialist with a suspected glaucoma after a check up at his optician's. Initially Bert refuses to have anything to do with surgery but after Jay discovers how serious his condition is and threatens to move out, Bert has the surgery and appears to make a full recovery.
In July 2007 Jay's father, Jase Dyer, appears in Albert Square, looking for his son. After an initially hostile meeting, Bert allows him to meet Jay. The father and son get on together, and Jase moves into the flat. On seeing his grandson is being well looked after, Bert takes his cue to pack his bags and move on from the Square. Bert is mentioned twice in January 2009 in a conversation between Pat and Billy Mitchell due to Jay's behaviour problems, and in March 2009 when Jay returns to Walford informing Billy that he is living with Bert. However, this is a lie as Jay is sleeping rough. Mo eventually learns from Bert that Jay is not living with him and she tells Billy, who then invites Jay to stay with him again.
In August 2017, Bert makes a return to the square and asks Jay to lay a Manchester United scarf on Jase's grave as it was 9 years since he died.