|Portrayed by|| Jamie Foreman (2011–12) |
Terence Beesley (1996)
|First Appearance||29 April 1996|
|Last Appearance||25 December 2012|
|Date of Birth||25 February 1960|
|Date of Death||25 December 2012|
|Occupation|| Career criminal |
Derek Branning was the eldest brother of April Branning, Carol Jackson, Suzy Branning, Max Branning and Jack Branning. Derek was old school, proper East End. After years behind bars he looked for a place to make his mark. And his old manor, Walford, was as good as any.
Derek was a bit overprotective of his family as he was loyal to them and he was violent as well as a racist. He was a man who hated David Wicks so much due to his rivalry with him in Walford in 1976. While Derek was a villain and quite a feared man in Walford, he did have his softer side.
Derek Branning was born on 25 February 1960 out of wedlock in London to Jim and Reenie Branning. Derek is the eldest son and child of Jim and Reenie Branning and became overprotective of his family. He was very loyal to his family but was ruthless, aggressive, violent, argumentative and racist towards his enemies. He locked Max in a coffin for having a black friend and led him to believe that their father did it. He used to torment some of his brothers' friends, in particular Michael Moon, who he teased because of his fractious relationship with his father. During his teenage years Derek Branning and
David Wicks had been mortal enemies for years and neither one had settled with each other's differences. When Carol fell for his enemy David Wicks, Derek was upset and ended up bullying David and his family, including David's mother Pat Wicks. When he found out that Carol was pregnant with David's child, he ruthlessly and aggressively beat him up severely which forced the Wicks family fleeing Walford in 1976, leaving no trace of where they went so they could not be found. Derek fell in love with a girl from school, Jackie Bosch. They briefly dated but she disliked him because he was a bully. In the early 1990s Derek married a young woman and had two children with her named Joey Branning and Alice Branning. He was physically abusive towards her and never cared about his son, left them in 1994 when their daughter was an infant and divorced his wife in 1999. He lived with his father for a while and they moved to Walford and then moved from Walford to Leyton.
Derek built up a criminal empire.
He was seen in 1996 when he attended April's wedding to her Greek fiancé Nikos. Derek and his father Jim goaded Carol's black boyfriend Alan Jackson, and tried to start fights with him. He still lived with his parents and did his best to split Alan and Carol up. He didn't succeed, and Carol and Alan married that same day after April was jilted at the altar. He and his father walked out of their wedding in protest and Derek continued to goad Carol and Alan after the ceremony. Carol resorted by humiliating him about still living at home at 32. Derek subsequently attacked Alan, but was stopped by David Wicks, Carol's former teenage sweetheart, who then beat him up as revenge for Derek roughing him up when they were teenagers. A shamed Derek departed.
In 1999 Jim, then living in Southend, mentioned to Carol (who was visiting at the time with her children, son-in-law, Ricky Butcher and new partner Dan Sullivan) that Derek was going through a messy divorce.
On 22 October 2007, Derek's younger brother Max Branning revealed, during a discussion about his son Bradley's upcoming wedding to Stacey Slater, that Derek was in prison and therefore unable to attend. While Derek was in prison he became best friends with convict Carl White and they looked out for each other.
2011 - 2012
Derek returned to Walford alongside his younger brother Max in November 2011. He quickly earnt a reputation amongst the locals as somebody not to be messed with. Derek was involved in several storylines such as feuding with Phil Mitchell, terrorising the Moon Family and expressing a dislike for Tanya Cross. Phil and Derek's brother Jack had had a feud so Derek said that if Phil takes Jack on that he also takes him on.
In January 2012, Derek caught up with his old mortal enemy David Wicks and he wanted revenge because 35 years earlier, David had got Derek's 14 year old sister Carol pregnant, and Derek stated to Carol that David poisoned his relationship with Jackie Bosch when they were teenagers.
Derek found out that he had a long lost daughter and son. He meets with his daughter, Alice, but she keeps leaving as she finds out he is lying about something and he is not telling the truth.
Derek tells Anthony that he has to take Alice on a date, as Derek can see Alice likes Anthony. But at a party, Lucy spikes Alice's drink to get revenge on Derek, and she is sick in a gutter. Derek is angry at Lucy and gets revenge by making her life a misery, and taking money out of the cafe's till.
Derek's son Joey is set to appear, but he does not forgive his dad and wants to make him pay for never contacting them over the years.
On 20 December 2012 he was revealed as Kat Slater's mystery lover.
On 25 December 2012 Derek admitted that he locked Max in the coffin years ago and not Jim, due to Max having a black friend. Jack and Max said they did not want anything more to do with Derek. Derek walked out into Albert Square and suffered a massive heart attack due to stress of the argument between him, Max and Jack. Joey tried to help Derek but Kat stopped him but when Joey, Max, Jack and Kat got there Derek was already dead. There was nothing they could have done for him as the heart attack was so severe.