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Joanne is first seen in Albert Square in June 1988. She is a member of the gangster organisation known as The Firm, and is sent to Walford by Mr Vinnicombe (The Firm's boss) to manage Strokes Winebar, which is actually a facade for an illegal gambling den. Her arrival upsets Den Watts (Leslie Grantham), as he had thought that he was being given managerial status. Despite initial hostility, Joanne and Den prove to be a good team and build up a strong working relationship.

Den, however, is too unpredictable for the Firm's liking, and after his best friend's wife, Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), is raped by rival wine-bar owner, James Willmott-Brown (William Boyde), he goes against the Firm's orders and instigates a revenge attack without their approval. With the help of another member of The Firm, Brad Williams (Jonathan Stratt), he has Willmott-Brown's winebar set on fire. This leads to a police investigation, putting Strokes under surveillance and The Firm under suspicion. In order to put the police off, The Firm decide that Den has to take the blame for the arson. Den unwillingly does so following pressure from Joanne, and then goes into hiding to avoid arrest. However, The Firm's real agenda is to lure Den into a false sense of security before killing him, thus stopping him implicating them for their heinous crimes. Realising this, Den manages to escape The Firm and goes on the run, but when The Firm trace him to his hideout, he is forced to turn himself in to the police in order to avoid being killed. Den is sent to Dickens Hill prison, leaving The Firm to assume that it will only be a matter of time before Den divulges his knowledge about their criminal antics. Actually, Den has no intention of grassing, but the investigating officer, D.I. West, decides to play up to The Firm's fears, spreading rumours that Den is on the verge of implicating them. Gregory Mantel (Pavel Douglas), a superior member of The Firm, makes plans to have Den eradicated from within prison. Joanne does not believe that Den is an informant and she tries to do everything she can to stop her associates from setting up a hit on him, even going above Mantel's head and relaying her doubts to Mr Vinnicombe, which earns her the wrath of Mantel, but manages to spare Den's life temporarily.

Joanne moves into a flat in Albert Square and continues running Strokes, but her position is put in jeopardy when a new Detective Inspector, Bob Ashley (Robin Lermitte), starts to take umbrage with her presence in Walford. He begins putting pressure on Brad Williams to frame The Firm, threatening him with prison unless he obliges. Brad divulges the whereabouts of evidence that will show Joanne's criminal dealings, enabling him to get rid of her and close down Strokes. Sensing her imminent downfall, Joanne considers resigning from The Firm. This does not please Mantel, he reminds her not to 'rock the boat' or else she will meet the same fate as her late husband. It is revealed that Joanne's husband had also been employed by The Firm, and his association had led to his untimely demise. So Joanne flees, stealing thousands of pounds of The Firm's money in the process. Her exit is nearly halted by a speeding car, driven by Brad, who has been instructed by Mantel to eliminate her. Brad misses his target and she manages to escape unharmed. Her last appearance is in January 1989. Strokes closes down soon after.

Appearances

1988

1989

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Ian Beale | Sharon Watts | Kathy Beale | Martin Fowler | Phil Mitchell | Bianca Jackson | Sonia Fowler | Peter Beale | Ben Mitchell | Billy Mitchell | Mo Harris | Patrick Trueman | Bobby Beale | Jean Slater | Ruby Allen | Denise Fox | Max Branning | Shirley Carter | Jay Brown | Rainie Branning | Jack Branning | Dotty Cotton | Whitney Dean | Tiffany Butcher | Dotty Cotton | Tina Carter | Linda Carter | Mick Carter | Kush Kazemi | Ollie Carter | Keegan Baker | Karen Taylor | Bernadette Taylor | Callum "Halfway" Highway | Mitch Baker | Stuart Highway | Bailey Baker | Habiba Ahmed | Iqra Ahmed | Ash Panesar | Sheree Trueman | Isaac Baptiste | Vinny Panesar | Jagvir Panesar | Suki Panesar
Past
Characters (Selected)
Saeed Jeffery | Debbie Wilkins | Tony Carpenter | Kelvin Carpenter | Naima Jeffery | Sue Osman | Mehmet Osman | Ali Osman | Vicki Fowler | Zoe Slater | Chrissie Watts | David Wicks | Simon Wicks | Ricky Butcher | Diane Butcher | Liam Butcher | Dean Wicks | Babe Smith | Courtney Mitchell | Grant Mitchell | Nancy Carter | Johnny Carter | Tanya Cross | Lauren Branning | Michelle Fowler | Alfie Moon | Annie Smith | Lofty Holloway | Mary Smith | Bianca Jackson | Stacey Fowler | Lee Carter | Louise Mitchell | Lisa Fowler | Dot Branning | Keanu Taylor | Bex Fowler | Kat Slater
Deceased
Characters (Selected)
Andy O'Brien | Lou Beale | Pete Beale | Arthur Fowler | Cindy Beale | Steve Owen | Tiffany Mitchell | Ethel Skinner | Angie Watts | Roy Evans | Andrew Cotton | Paul Trueman | Mark Fowler | Barry Evans | Nana Moon | Den Watts | Dennis Rickman | Johnny Allen | Pauline Fowler | Frank Butcher | Archie Mitchell | Bradley Branning | Tony King | Pat Evans | Heather Trott | Derek Branning | Stan Carter | 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 | Mel Owen  | Leo King | Denny Rickman
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