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James Sebastian Willmott-Brown was born in 1951 and is the son of Denis Willmott-Brown. James is an only child. He is the father of Sophie 'Fi', Luke Browning (née Willmott-Brown) and Josh Hemmings.


When James was seven years old, he attended a single sex boarding school until he was eighteen years old. James then joined the army and went away to Sandhurst. James eventually met a woman called Elizabeth, James and Elizabeth got married when James was twenty years old in 1971 and they had two children together. Their marriage ended badly - James was very manipulative and very controlling towards his wife. When they got divorced, James still had contact with his children.


1986: Brewery area manager and moving to Albert Square[]

Willmott-Brown arrives in Albert Square in March 1986 as an area manager for 'Luxford and Copley', the brewery that owns The Queen Victoria public house. Willmott-Brown decides to move to the Square and buys Debbie Wilkins' house (43 Albert Square) when she sells it, following fiancé Andy O'Brien's death. James dated Debbie briefly and was also unsuccessfully seduced by Pat Wicks.

1987: The Dagmar[]

Willmott-Brown gives up his job as brewery manager and buys a disused pub on Turpin Road, refurbishing it as a wine bar and names it The Dagmar. Local publican Den Watts is unhappy about the competition and is disgusted to learn that his estranged wife, Angie Watts, is manageress. Willmott-Brown allows Angie and her daughter, Sharon Watts, to live in the flat above.

Willmott-Brown and Den compete for best decorated pub in the 'London in Bloom' competition and in a five-a-side football match, and constantly try to poach each other's staff.

1988-1989: Feud with Den, obsession with Kathy and rape trial[]

The following year, the Dagmar begins to lose business as the residents of Walford never really take to the upper-class establishment and Willmott-Brown has competition from The Queen Victoria and Strokes wine bar, which Den takes over after giving up tenancy of the Vic. At this point, Gregory Mantel arrives and he is a member of the criminal organisation known as The Firm. Mantel demands that Willmott-Brown allow his company, 'Walford Investments', to buy into the business. Willmott-Brown refuses, and as a result, none of his creditors will trade with him and the business suffers even more. This is escalated when Willmott-Brown learns that Den is in league with the Firm and reports him to the police for shady dealings at Strokes wine bar. Simon Wicks, a barman at The Dagmar, overhears Willmott-Brown talking to the police and tells Den. When the residents learn that Willmott-Brown has informed the police, he loses all his customers, pushing Willmott-Brown to financial ruin. This makes him frantic and his behaviour becomes erratic.

Willmott-Brown gives Kathy Beale a job as a barmaid but this causes problems between her and her husband, Pete Beale. The rift worsens when it becomes clear that Wilmott-Brown has a romantic interest in Kathy. With everyone now ignoring him, Kathy soon becomes his only friend. He buys her presents and confides in her about the sorry state of his business, the break-up of his marriage and how it affected his children. Pete is furious about the amount of time Kathy spends with Willmott-Brown but their constant arguing only drives her away.

One night after Kathy argues with Pete again, Willmott-Brown invites her to his place for a glass of wine after work. When it becomes clear that he is trying to seduce her, she tries to leave but he refuses to take no for an answer and the seduction ends in rape. Den finds Kathy in an emotional wreck. When he realises what has happened, he takes Kathy home to her family and her niece, Michelle Fowler, persuades her to report the rape to the police. Den also calls his contacts within the Firm, Joanne Francis and Brad Williams, and demands revenge. He watches gleefully as a fire-bomb is thrown into the Dagmar and it catches fire. Unfortunately for Den, this act leads to his imprisonment, after The Firm expect him to take the rap for the arson and later decide that they want him dead. When Willmott-Brown returns days later, he is horrified to see what has happened to the Dagmar.

Willmott-Brown is arrested and claims that Kathy consented and claims that it is common knowledge that they were having an affair. When asked about Kathy's bruises, he claims that they are the result of their rampant sexual encounter and suggests that Pete is a violent man and Kathy has lied to avoid his wrath. Willmott-Brown thinks he has said enough to fool the police and is stunned when he is charged with rape.

He stands trial in April 1989, but not before attempting to bribe Kathy to drop the charges. She allows him to think that she is ready to take his hush money, only to reveal that D.I Bob Ashley is listening next door. Kathy is relieved when he is found guilty and imprisoned for three years.

1992-1994: Brief return and prison[]

When James is released in January 1992, he returns to the Square and tries to buy the flats that Grant Mitchell and Phil Mitchell are selling. He plans to move back to Walford and set up another business and sends Kathy a tape asking her to meet him at his hotel in Hampstead. He promises that if she objects, he will disappear and never return. Pete arranges his son Ian Beale, Frank Butcher and Big Ron to track Willmott-Brown down as Kathy plans to meet him. Kathy gets there first and after listening to James' tale of his hard time in prison and how much he has changed, she asks him to leave the Square for good and never return. Despite his promise, however, he refuses to leave Walford. Kathy then leaves feeling repulsed and cheated, but unknown to her, Pete has also come to enact his revenge. They force him into the car and drive him to Pete's high-rise flat building, where Pete threatens to push him off unless he signs a paper stating that he will leave Walford and never return. Immediately after, Willmott-Brown phones his solicitor and takes out an injunction on Pete, but proceeds to move to the Square. He continues sending Kathy tapes, confessing his undying love for her.

Eventually Kathy and Pete confront James at his house and he and Pete nearly come to blows. An emotional Kathy finally relays her hurt and anger over the rape and her fury that James has never apologised for the act. James protests that they had something truly special, but after a heated conversation, Kathy makes him realise how deluded he is by showing him the destruction he'd caused her and her family. In a bid for attention, James threatens to commit suicide but Kathy stops him, refusing to allow him off the hook so easily. James finally apologises for raping her and begs for her forgiveness. Kathy is pleased he is sorry, but refuses to forgive him, feeling her forgiveness would give him permission to stop being sorry. A defeated James leaves Walford.

In 1994, Kathy begins having recurring nightmares about James so Phil goes in search of him and tracks down his ex-wife Elizabeth. She reveals to Phil that James is back in prison for raping another woman.

2017: Weyland & Co.[]

Twenty-five years after leaving Walford, James anonymously lays flowers addressed to Kathy at a memorial for her step-grandson Steven Beale. The following day, James meets with his children — Sophie, who is now going by the name 'Fi', Luke and Josh Hemmings - and Elizabeth's brother Hugo Browning, before introducing himself to Fi's partner, Max Branning. Willmott-Brown, Luke and Hugo discuss purchasing the café and James tells them he has a better plan for the premises than their idea of studio flats.

James arrives in Albert Square and lets himself into the café, and he, Luke and Hugo go through their development plans for Albert Square. After Max manages to persuade Ian Beale and his wife, Jane Beale, to sell the café and move away, James tells Max that he wants Ian to remain. Fi promises James that she will get the sealed bids from Max and Luke promises to persuade Jay Brown to sell the car lot land. When Max contemplates getting the sealed bids from Carmel Kazemi's work laptop, he phones James, refusing to go through with it. Max meets up with James, Fi and Luke and tells them that he doesn't want to be a part of their plan any longer. Fi turns up to see Max at Carmel's house, where they have sex. However, unbeknownst to Max, Fi hacks into Carmel's computer and steals the sealed bids. When James finds out about Max and Fi's relationship, Fi presents him with the sealed bids to earn James' approval.

On Halloween, when Kathy shuts the café, she is startled when James comes in. As James acts casual, Kathy takes hold of a knife and James tells her that he has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. He says the reason for his visit is to move on from the past. Kathy wants him to explain truthfully what happened on the night of the rape, but when he refuses to do so, Kathy retells it - demanding to know when he decided to rape her and she realises that James chose to rape her when he locked up The Dagmar. Kathy tells James that he has scared her that night like the night he raped her, but James, still in denial - refuses to apologise for the rape and he leaves Kathy his address.

Kathy confides in Ian that James is back and Ian contacts Phil. Phil visits James and warns him away from Kathy.

Ian arranges to meet James and tapes their conversation, where James initially tells Ian that he and Kathy loved each other, but he admits to raping Kathy. James deletes the recording when Ian is restrained.

Josh decides to quit his job. Fi tries to get Josh to return but he tells Fi that James has ruined and controls their lives just like with their mothers. When Fi attempts to question James over why he never allowed Josh's mother, Wendy Hemmings, to get a job or why Elizabeth committed suicide, James pushes her to the ground. Fi asks Kathy about the rape and her version causes Fi to be physically sick.

Towards the end of the year after Christmas, Fi tells James that she believes he did rape Kathy - prompting him to throw her out. He then goes to see Kathy and attempts to manipulate her into starting anew with him. Kathy appears to be interested at first, but then grabs James at the front and stands up for herself - telling James that he is "going to hell" regardless of what he does. When he returns to his office, James is horrified to find that his safe has had a break-in and that all his documents - which he showed Fi earlier on about the secrecy to exposing Weyland & Co - are missing, just as the police arrive. Whilst desperately trying to destroy them, he suffers a heart attack. It soon transpires that Fi, disgusted with her father's callousness and the discovery that he raped Kathy, stole the documents and reported Weyland & Co's criminal activities to the police. After forcing Hugo to relinquish Weyland & Co of their power over the square, destroying the company in the process, Fi visits James in hospital and tells him she is not going to keep on trying to get his approval as she wanted his love. As James reaches out for Fi, she tells the staff that she is not his daughter before leaving - having disowned her father and leaving him to suffer alone.

Whatever did happen to James next has never been revealed. It is unknown whether he died after his heart attack or from liver cancer.

Kill count[]

Attempted murder victims[]

  1. Unknown person (24 November 1987) - Attacked a burglar with an iron bar after catching the burglar stealing from his house. The burglar was rushed to hospital but survived his injuries.

Victim count[]

Rape victims[]

  1. Kathy Beale (7 July 1988) - Attacked Kathy while they were having a drink after finishing their shifts in The Dagmar.
  2. Unknown woman (prior to 1994, revealed on 7 April 1994) - James's ex-wife Elizabeth revealed to Phil Mitchell, that he was sent back to prison for the rape of a second woman.


First line to Den Watts, whilst entering the Queen Vic for a pub inspection: "Watts!, Morning! Who am I, a snob?

To Angie Watts as she said good morning to Willmott-Brown: "Dear Lady, I wouldn't let you sleep."

To Den Watts after he set the Dagmar on fire after Willmott-Brown raped Kathy Beale: "I'll get you for this Dennis, you burnt down my pub, you're crazy".

To Kathy Beale on a tape recording after Willmott-Brown was released from prison for her rape: "Next time Kathy, I promise things will be perfect."

To Max Branning whilst being at a board meeting at Weyland & Co: "Quite the gambler Maxwell?"

To the Carters whilst announcing their eviction from the Queen Vic: "My pub! My rules, and I want you out".

To Josh Hemmings, whilst having an argument at Weyland & Co: "Finally! I get to see some fire in that belly!"

See also[]