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EastEnders Wiki

Gavin Sullivan was the ex-husband of Kathy Beale and the biological father of Sharon Watts and Zack Hudson. He made his first appearance on 21 August 2015 and his last appearance on 8 July 2016.


Gavin Sullivan was born in 1946 in Walford, London, E20. He was one of 3 children, he has 2 sisters, Sally and Margaret Midhurst. He and his siblings lived above doctor Harold Legg's surgery with their mother Ivy Sullivan after their father left their mother. According to Dot Ethel Skinner use to feed the children but Gavin would steal out of Ethel's purse. Ivy used to bring lots of men home as Gavin and his sisters were growing up.

He was friends with Ted Hills, Den Watts, Eric Mitchell and Vincent Hubbard's father Henry Hubbard. Gavin had a photo taken with those friends in about 1965 which he kept on him. In 1969, Gavin had a brief affair with Carol Stretton and she gave birth to a daughter Sharon who was later adopted by Gavin's friend Den Watts and his wife Angie. Gavin emigrated to South Africa.

Ted Hills, Gavin's friend moved to South Africa and him and Gavin remained friends. Gavin romanced Kathy Beale, Ted's younger sister, who had left her thuggish husband Phil Mitchell to join her brother in South Africa.

In November 1998, Phil mentions that Gavin is self-made and has multiple businesses in South Africa. Gavin and Kathy married in 2001 and Gavin was Ben's stepfather. 


2015-2016: Reuniting with Sharon Mitchell and divorce from Kathy Beale[]

Having faked her own death, Gavin's wife, Kathy Sullivan, makes plans to escape Gavin and asks Phil Mitchell for money on several occasions, saying she is willing to go to prison so she can eventually reunite with her family in Walford. Kathy and Phil arrange to meet at St Pancras International, but she cannot meet him because her son, Ian Beale, is there. As she leaves, Gavin surprises her, revealing he knows what she has planned.

After Kathy makes attempts to contact someone at The Queen Victoria pub, Gavin arrives on Albert Square. He texts Phil, pretending to be Kathy, and meets him, revealing that after St Pancras, he and Kathy planned to fly themselves to Spain but Kathy escaped by crashing the car. Phil discovers that Kathy is staying in a guest house in Kent, but Gavin follows Phil there and finds Kathy first. Phil realises they have gone to a local airfield, so he stops them from leaving and convinces Kathy to go back with him, leaving Gavin behind.

When Phil meets Kathy at her hotel room, she agrees with him that there should be no more contact between them. After Phil leaves, it is revealed that Gavin has manipulated her into saying this. Phil goes missing after Gavin and two men confront him at his garage. After Kathy's sons, Ian and Ben Mitchell, discover she is alive, Gavin finds Kathy in Walford. He tells Kathy to stick to their plan and Phil will stay alive. When Kathy reunites with Ben, Kathy says that she needs all of Phil's money or Gavin will kill him, and Gavin later tells Kathy he will harm Ian and Ben if she does not get the money that night. Kathy decides to go to the police to confess to fraud and to report Phil's kidnapping. When Ian finds out, he calls Gavin, saying he knows what Gavin has done, but Gavin now knows that Kathy has not stuck to their plan. Kathy realises Gavin probably has Phil at his sister's house, but when they get there, Gavin and Phil are gone, but Phil's blood is found. Phil, a recovering alcoholic, gets back home but is covered in cuts and bruises and has broken bones, and reveals to Ben that Gavin deliberately got him drinking alcohol again.

Phil has a panic button installed and Kathy helps the police trace Gavin via his mobile phone. Ben tells Gavin to leave or be arrested, as the police have arrived. Ben tells his family that Gavin has left, but Gavin returns, where Cora Cross apparently recognises him and appears fearful.

On Halloween, Kathy is on edge, and she fears Gavin has gone into Ian's house. Ben and Kathy then see Gavin, but are unsure it was him. They go to Phil's house, where Gavin locks Phil and Dennis Rickman in a bedroom. When Kathy attempts to call the police, Gavin appears. He threatens to light fireworks inside the house, hoping to kill himself, Kathy, Ben, Phil and Dennis. Sharon Mitchell, Phil's wife and Dennis's mother, arrives and Gavin reveals he knows that Sharon is the adopted daughter of Den Watts and Angie Watts. Gavin surprises Kathy by saying that Walford was once his home and he had a child. Sharon realises Gavin could be her birth father, and he confirms it when he says, "Hello, princess", which Den used to say to her.

Kathy pleads with Gavin not to light the fireworks and promises to leave with him again. Phil escapes, knocks Gavin unconscious and ties him up. While Sharon talks to Kathy, she realises that Margaret Midhurst, the solicitor who arranged her adoption and who she has been visiting to track her father, is Gavin's sister. When Gavin wakes up, Sharon asks about her adoption; Gavin says he had a fling with Carol Hanley, who had a breakdown after Sharon's birth, and Gavin was not paternal but Den was, so he traded Sharon for part in a bank raid that Den was working on. Phil then tells Sharon that Gavin previously had him locked in a room with no windows and just a bottle of whisky, meaning Phil turned to alcohol. Sharon decides to call the police so presses Phil's panic button. Sharon then confronts Gavin, who tells her that he asked Den to greet Sharon for him occasionally by calling her "princess". When the police arrive, Gavin has gone. Sharon reveals she took money from Phil's safe to let Gavin go, and when she meets Margaret again, she confirms she helped Gavin fake his death and gives Sharon his phone number. Sharon calls and leaves a message, and later receives a text message, saying they will see each other soon.

On Christmas Day, Gavin texts Sharon and later arrives at her house, saying he has missed her. Sharon hurries him out and he leaves her a present. He also visits her in hospital when her son, Dennis Rickman, is involved in a car crash. He invites her to Hong Kong but she declines, promising to still keep in touch and thanking him for the present. When Sharon tells Gavin that she is ending her marriage to Phil, he visits her, offering his support. She rejects him and the gift he has left for Dennis, saying she does not want liars in her life, but he insists he has never lied to her and reminds her of his offer to join him overseas, insisting that he will have a steady job and that he wants a second chance of having a family. Sharon and Dennis later join Gavin.

The following month, Kathy is shocked when Gavin appears in her home. She threatens to call the police, but he asks her to pass on a message to Sharon, revealing that he has been on holiday with her and Dennis, but she left. Dot Branning then arrives, and eventually she remembers Gavin from his childhood in Walford, saying that he was a troublemaker who stole money from Ethel Skinner, and warns Kathy off getting involved. Gavin simply says he wants the opportunity to be a good father and grandfather, and cries when he remembers that he was unwanted by his own mother. After Dot leaves, Kathy realises that Gavin does not like being on his own and promises to pass on the messaage. Before he leaves, he kisses Kathy as a thank you, saying he misses her.

Kathy speaks to Sharon, who reveals that she left the holiday because Gavin hit Dennis. Sharon meets Gavin who says he did it out of love but Sharon wants nothing to do with him. Later, Sharon discovers that Gavin has collected Dennis from school and given him a mobile phone. She meets Gavin and offers him £100,000 to leave forever, revealing that she is selling her half of her bar to fund this. Gavin asks her for another chance but she rejects him and he leaves.

After Sharon tells Gavin it will take some weeks to get the money, Gavin sees Claudette Hubbard and her family and concludes that they must be wealthy. Gavin blackmails Clauedtte, threatening to reveal a secret from her past. Claudette attempts to pay Gavin with sex, but afterwards he says it is not a payment and asks how Claudette killed her husband, Henry. When he demands more money, she strikes him over the head with a candelabra. She believes he is dead and takes him to the basement, and when her son Vincent Hubbard arrives, she lies about the circumstances, but when Gavin escapes, her lies are revealed to Vincent. Gavin returns to Claudette's home and meets Vincent, who says Claudette has left the country. Gavin says he will track her down, so Vincent offers to pay off the money Gavin claims she owes him. Sharon then meets Gavin and gives him the money from her sale of her bar (to Vincent), and he asks for a reconciliation but she rejects him. He meets Margaret, saying she will get her share of the money, and states that Sharon is now dead to him as he has another plan, which Margaret calls "insane".

Two months later, it is revealed that Dennis and Gavin are still in contact. After another six weeks, Margaret visits Sharon, saying that Gavin is acting strangely, but Sharon dismisses this and sends Margaret away. Later, Gavin tells Kathy he has Dennis so she reluctantly gets in his car and is seen leaving by Buster Briggs. Sharon sees that Dennis has been in contact with Gavin and Buster tells Sharon what he saw so, fearing for Kathy's safety, they get Gavin's address from Dennis.

Kathy and Gavin arrive at a large country house that he bought with Sharon's money, and he locks them in, saying they can live there together. Kathy realises that Dennis is not there, and then Margaret arrives. Gavin locks Kathy in a room as Margaret and Gavin argue, and Margaret knocks Gavin unconscious and lets Kathy out of the room. Gavin regains consciousness and the women try to escape. As Sharon and Buster arrive, a woman falls onto the windscreen of the car and lies dead on the floor. Sharon realises it is Margaret, and she and Buster break into the house where Buster finds Kathy while Sharon confronts Gavin, who is packing a bag with cash. Sharon locks the door and Gavin insists that Margaret's death was an accident. Sharon asks him why he stayed in contact with Dennis when she paid him to stay away, so he says he would never harm his grandson. She tells him to give himself up to the police and if he does so, she will visit him in prison with Dennis and they can be a family when he gets released. Police and paramedics then arrive, as Sharon called them and Gavin accuses her of stalling until they arrived, but she insists she called them for Margaret's sake. Gavin says he will give himself up to the police so Sharon unlocks the bedroom door, but he then tries to escape. He sees his only way out is via the balcony but he is too scared of harming himself to jump. Sharon joins him on the balcony and he asks Sharon to tell the police that Margaret fell. A police officer then arrives on the balcony and Gavin grabs Sharon, threatening to jump, killing them both. Sharon says he could never kill himself so he lets her go and she tells him it is over between them. Gavin is then arrested.

2021: Death and funeral[]

More than five years later, Gavin's sister, Sally calls Kathy to inform her that Gavin has died. Kathy and Sharon attend the wake where they meet Sally and various relatives. Zack Hudson raises a scathing toast to Gavin and is chased by his cousins. In the ensuing distraction of the chase, Sharon snatches Gavin's urn and dumps it in the bin outside. Before they leave, Zack hides out in Sharon's car while Gavin's irate relatives look for him. When Sharon asks how Zack knows Gavin, he replies that he is his son, making him, Sharon's half-brother. It emerges that Gavin has willed a safety deposit box to Sharon and the key to Zack, respectively. When Zack and Sharon open the box they find nothing of any value.

Kill count[]

Murders/manslaughter victims[]

  1. Margaret Midhurst (8 July 2016) - Died from cervical fractures after being pushed off a balcony by Gavin.

Attempted murder victims[]

  1. Kathy Sullivan (2 November 2015) - Attempts to kill Kathy, Ben, Sharon, Dennis and Phil by blowing up their house in a murder-suicide but is knocked out by Phil.
  2. Ben Mitchell (2 November 2015) - Attempts to kill Kathy, Ben, Sharon, Dennis and Phil by blowing up their house in a murder-suicide but is knocked out by Phil.
  3. Sharon Mitchell (2 November 2015) - Attempts to kill Kathy, Ben, Sharon, Dennis and Phil by blowing up their house in a murder-suicide but is knocked out by Phil.
  4. Dennis Rickman Jr (2 November 2015) - Attempts to kill Kathy, Ben, Sharon, Dennis and Phil by blowing up their house in a murder-suicide but is knocked out by Phil.
  5. Phil Mitchell (2 November 2015) - Attempts to kill Kathy, Ben, Sharon, Dennis and Phil by blowing up their house in a murder-suicide but is knocked out by Phil.