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Katherine Elizabeth "Kathy" Cotton (née Hills, previously Beale, Mitchell and Sullivan) is a long-standing Albert Square resident and wife of Tom Cotton. She is the also the ex-wife of Pete Beale, Phil Mitchell and Gavin Sullivan, the mother of Donna LudlowIan Beale and Ben Mitchell, step-grandmother of Steven Beale, grandmother of Peter, Lucy, Bobby Beale and Lexi Pearce as well as the great-grandmother of Louie Beale and step-great-grandmother of Abi Branning Jr. She made her first appearance on the 19 February 1985 and is portrayed by Gillian Taylforth.

Backstory[]

Kathy grew up in Walford, raised by Dennis and Brenda Hills. She had five brothers and one sister. Her father was a heavy drinker and her mother was submissive, meaning Kathy's childhood was hard. The family had no money but plenty of bags of misery. She came from the "slum end" of Walford, owning the tattiest school-uniform, having the least money and being the poorest of the poor was hard to fight against.

Following her time at school, Kathy was raped at fourteen by a music teacher called Marcus Duffy, which led to her falling pregnant. While pregnant she was told by Mr Ackroyd, her headteacher, that she was not a nice girl for "letting the school down". Her family were so ashamed that they vowed never to tell anyone and when the child was born, Kathy was forced to give it up for adoption and never spoke of the baby until many years later, only telling Doctor Harold Legg about the rape as she knew her family wouldn’t believe her.

In 1966, she began a relationship with Pete Beale, who was a few years older than her but was a well-respected man in the community and came from a popular family. Pete had already been married and had two children, who at the time thought they were his, but that didn't stop the pair from tying the knot and bearing a son, Ian. The pair were financially stable and Kathy was employed as a barmaid at The Queen Victoria, while helping Pete on their fruit and veg stall. They also had a well-treated flat in Walford Towers not far from the Square and had an ambitious child.

1985-1989: Family life, raped by James Willmott-Brown and rejecting daughter Donna Ludlow[]

The Beales were financially stable in 1985. Kathy opened her own knitting business, making jumpers to sell and working as a barmaid for her best friend, Angie Watts.

Kathy felt she had put her troubled past behind her, however in October 1985, Nick Cotton broke into Doctor Legg's surgery and stole Kathy's medical records, discovering that she had been raped and had given the resulting child up for adoption. He used this to blackmail Kathy and she was eventually forced to tell Pete her secret - a revelation that he took badly.

In 1987, Kathy received news from her adoptive daughter's godmother, June Watkins, that she wanted to meet her. Kathy refused and when asked for information on the father, Kathy lied and told her that she had been in love with the man but he had died in a motorbike accident. Undeterred, Donna moved to Walford and kept her identity secret. To get closer to Kathy, Donna called her workplace at the Samaritans and grew close to Ian (who became attracted to his half-sister.) When Kathy told Donna to stay away from Ian, Donna told her that she was her daughter. She thought Kathy would be pleased but Kathy was mortified and ordered her to leave Walford. Unperturbed, Donna stayed and caused various problems for Kathy until she finally cracked and told Donna that she wanted nothing to do with her as she was the product of rape. Unhinged, Donna spent the rest of the year in a downward spiral.

In 1988, James Willmott-Brown employed Kathy at The Dagmar wine bar, which angered Pete. The rift worsened when it became clear that James was romantically interested in Kathy. After Kathy and Pete argued one night, James invited her to his flat, but when he attempted to seduce her, Kathy tried to leave. James would not take no for an answer and what began as seduction ended in rape. James was arrested and, despite claiming that the sex had been consensual, he was formally charged with rape. In the aftermath, Kathy became depressed and isolated from Pete, who never believed she was blameless. Kathy didn't feel she could talk to anyone about what had happened but told her niece Michelle Fowler.

Kathy ended her marriage and temporarily left Walford in January 1989.

James stood trial in April 1989 but not before he'd tried to bribe Kathy to drop the charges. Kathy pretended to take his hush money, then betrayed him to a listening DI. She was forced to relive the rape for the trial, where a skillful barrister presented a good case for James. For a time, it appeared that James would be found not guilty, but to Kathy's relief, he was imprisoned for three years.

During this time, Kathy found unexpected support from Pete's first wife, Pat Wicks, whom she had initially despised. The rape by Willmott-Brown, and later the death of Kathy's mother-in-law Lou Beale, brought them closer as both women found that they had a common bond with the dominance of Lou in their lives. Pat and Kathy became each other's closest friends. Kathy still found herself unable to accept Donna as she reminded her of rape. Donna sank into depression and overdosed on heroin and died after choking on her own vomit. Kathy felt guilty about her daughter's death.

1990-1993: Separating from Pete Beale, helping Disa O'Brien and Mandy Salter[]

Kathy attempted to move on and fell for market trader Laurie Bates. Laurie was understanding of Kathy's situation and accepted that sex was off limits. Their relationship managed to survive the interference of Julie Cooper, who tried but failed to claim Laurie herself. However, when Laurie began buying Kathy extravagant clothing and jewellery, she began questioning his motives. She thought he was trying to make her look like his late wife and lost interest. Laurie took her rejection badly and some tactless comments regarding her sexual abstinence made Kathy believe he had hidden shallows. She ended the relationship in January 1990.

Later in the year, Kathy began dating new Queen Vic landlord Eddie Royle. He patiently pursued her, but after a few dates, she became hesitant and after she saw him kissing Eibhlin O'Donnell - his former girlfriend visiting from Ireland - their lukewarm romance ended.

In January 1991, Kathy applied for her old job at the Samaritans, which she got back. One night she receives a call from a distressed young girl that says she is by the river and contemplating suicide - neither realise who each other are, but the young girl is Disa O'Brien - a friend of Diane Butcher's who she met whilst living on the streets after running away from home in 1990. During the phone call, Disa reveals to Kathy that her step father, Ken Raynor, had raped her and was the father of her child. After hearing Kathy's voice in the cafe, Disa recognises it but isn't sure where from until Dot Cotton mentions Kathy's job at the Samaritans. Kathy recognises Disa's voice as well and tries getting in contact by posting a note through her letter box but Disa's mother, Sandra Raynor, reads it first and rips it up, not wanting to believe what her partner had done. The pair are eventually able to talk properly, just before Disa was set to leave. They both know that Disa can't go home if her stepfather will be there so Kathy helps Disa confront her mother and after she agrees to not let Ken in their house again, Disa leaves with her mother and baby daughter, Jasmine O'Brien.

In January 1992, Willmott-Brown was released from prison. He sent Kathy a tape telling her that he wanted to meet her and that he had changed. Kathy pleaded with him to leave and never return, but he moved to the Square and continued to pester her, until Kathy relayed the hurt and anger he had caused her, gaining some closure. James threatened suicide, but Kathy stopped him, refusing to let him take the easy way out. After a heated conversation in which James pleaded for forgiveness, Kathy convinced him to leave Walford. She also convinced Pete - who had been hoping for a reconciliation - that their marriage was over.

Later in 1992, Kathy met a young, homeless Mandy Salter and allowed her to sleep on her sofa for a few weeks until she learnt Mandy had been spreading rumours that she was mistreating her because she reminded her of Donna. Disgusted by Mandy's attempt to use her dead daughter against her, Kathy packed Mandy's belongings into bin bags and left them on the pavement outside before confronting her in the Vic where Mandy revealed to the pub that Kathy still had photos of Donna in her flat. With Mandy gone, Kathy began a relationship with market inspector Richard Cole, which soured when she discovered that he was taking a cash bribe and allowing a mobile hot dog van to trade in direct competition to her café.

1993-1998: Relationships with Phil Mitchell and Alex Healy and leaving Walford[]

In 1993, Kathy began a romance with mechanic Phil Mitchell. Their romance came to ahead during a trip to Paris with Grant and Sharon Mitchell and Pat and Frank Butcher, which was organised by Kathy.

Kathy was left shocked and devastated when Pete was involved in in a car crash, which killed him.

Kathy and Phil's relationship managed to survive interference from Phil's first wife, Nadia Mitchell, who tried to spilt them up. She also drunkenly revealed that she had slept with Phil on Christmas Day, which he denied, as well as various revelations about Phil's past criminal activity.

In March 1994, Kathy woke up screaming in the night after having a nightmare about Wilmott-Brown. After a discussion about the rape, Phil became angry and began pressuring her for more details about it, upsetting her further, and she began packing a bag to leave but he stopped her. In the morning, Kathy left for work and Phil, still frustrated by their conversation the night before, punched a hole in a door. Phil asked Kathy to move in with him but she said she didn't feel ready. He claimed to understand her reluctance since he assumed it was due to her bad experiences with men and that Kathy didn't trust him or any man. Kathy admitted that she was more careful around men but her hesitation wasn't about Phil. He said he didn’t think she would ever trust him as a result of the rape which upset her and she walked out but later agreed she'd move in with him on the condition he would be honest with her and wouldn’t do anything behind her back. Kathy moved in with Phil but he remained intent on finding Wilmott-Brown - asking both Frank and Michelle for information. They both told him to drop it. Eventually he found an address for Wilmott-Brown and went to find him but discovered he was in prison for raping another woman. Phil admitted to Kathy that he had lied about being at an auction and that he had actually gone to see Wilmott-Brown. Kathy was angry that he had brought it up again after how long it had taken for her to move on. She became increasingly frustrated when he said that he'd done it to try and rid her mind of the guilt and blame she felt about the rape but she believed he'd done it because he didn't believe she was raped. Phil said that he could live with the knowledge of the rape if she was able to and that the only way for their relationship to work would be by addressing each other's pasts.

During a break-up, Phil got drunk and proposed to Kathy and she accepted. However, during their engagement party, Kathy learnt that Phil had almost resumed his affair with his sister-in-law Sharon - a revelation that ended Kathy's friendship with Sharon and lead to Phil being beaten by his brother Grant, and almost ended Kathy and Phil's relationship.

By 1995, Phil and Kathy sorted out their differences and got married.

Kathy fell pregnant and gave birth to a boy, Ben Mitchell, in March 1996. He later contracted meningitis and was left with impaired hearing. Kathy became devoted to Ben. Phil began to feel neglected and, in his depression, he turned to alcohol. By the end of the year, Phil's drinking had developed into full-blown alcoholism. Phil became violent and argumentative towards Kathy. After he snatched Ben and left him near a fire while he passed out drunk, Kathy left him. Realising what he had lost, Phil tried to stop drinking and rebuild his marriage.

Kathy took him back, but when Phil attended counselling in 1997, he began an affair with an alcoholic named Lorna Cartwright, who started stalking him and made herself known to Kathy. In August 1997, Phil took Kathy to Paris, hoping that it would bring them closer. However, their return to the city where their relationship began was not a success. Phil confessed to his affair with Lorna and Kathy responded by throwing her wedding ring in the Seine, stating that their marriage was "the biggest mistake" of her life. She left Paris with Grant after Phil drunkenly insulted her and said it was her fault that he was an alcoholic, Wilmott-Brown raped her and that she’d been in unsuccessful relationships with men. Phil began sleeping rough and blaming Kathy for his decline. Despite momentarily contemplating suicide, Kathy hardened herself towards her husband's abuse.

By Christmas 1997, she had fallen for vicar Alex Healy. In 1998, Alex's bishop discovered their affair and offered Alex a choice - Kathy or his job. Alex was prepared to give up his job to be with Kathy but she had already decided to move to Cape Town in South Africa to live with her brother Ted Hills.

Meanwhile, Phil's brother Grant confessed to loving Kathy and asked her to elope, while Phil, simultaneously, was trying to reunite with her. Kathy was confused by so many options, but made it known to Phil that she was open to a reunion. However, he failed to show up to meet her on the day of her departure in April 1998. Before Kathy left Walford with Ben, she revealed to Pat that she saw Pete as ‘the best of the bunch’ for never hitting her or becoming an alcoholic.

1999-2006: Brief return to Walford and 'death'[]

Kathy returned in September 1999 to meet Ian's fiancée Melanie Healy. Instead of reuniting with Phil, she had a fling with Grant. Just before she was due to return home to South Africa, Kathy had a change of heart and asked Phil to leave with her. However, Grant had planned a robbery tha same day and Phil could not bring himself to let his brother do the job alone. Infuriated by Phil's loyalty to Grant, Kathy revealed their recent affair, moments before she left. This resulted in a violent showdown between the brothers. Grant confessed that he only slept with Kathy as revenge for Phil's affair with his wife Sharon, and Phil responded by threatening to shoot Grant, devastated that he'd lost Ben and Kathy again, leading Grant to crash their car into the River Thames.

Kathy returned in December 1999 for Ian's short-lived wedding to Melanie on Millennium Eve, after Melanie reveals to Ian that she slept with Steve Owen. Kathy was met with hostility from Phil and Grant's mother, Peggy Mitchell. Phil tried to persuade Kathy to reconcile one last time but eventually they both agreed that their relationship was definitely over. Kathy then departed again in January 2000.

Kathy married a man named Gavin Sullivan in South Africa in 2001, who adopted Ben.

On 20 February 2006, Gavin's sister called Ian to say that Gavin and Kathy had been in an accident - a 13-year-old boy who was joyriding, crashed into their car, killing Kathy. A heartbroken Ian travelled to South Africa and returned with Ben after Gavin also died. Custody of Ben was eventually given to Phil.

2015-2017: Returning from the dead, family problems, relationship with Buster Briggs and return of James Willmott-Brown[]

In 2015, after being released from a short stint in prison, Phil attempts to tell Ian privately on his wedding day that Kathy is alive, but cannot go through with it when Ben walks in on their conversation. Phil later meets Kathy in secret and tells her that, despite her wishes, he cannot allow her to return home, concerned about the effect on Ben and Ian.

A few months later, Phil meets her in a café, and hands her an envelope of cash, with the promise that this is the last payment he has for her.

Seemingly out of the blue, months on, Kathy visits Phil at his garage in Walford, begging for fake documentation for her controlling husband, so she can reveal that she faked her death, without implicating him. Phil agrees to help her leave London and meets her at St Pancras International, but Sharon, who is now married to Phil, arrives, suspecting he is meeting someone he is having an affair with. Ian accompanies her and Kathy disappears, having spotted Ian for the first time in 10 years. As she leaves, she runs into Gavin, who has been aware of her plan all along and forces her to leave on a train with him.

Phil's cousin Ronnie Mitchell discovers that Kathy is alive and Phil has been aware for three years, since Ben went to prison for murdering Heather Trott. Several weeks later, Kathy has escaped from Gavin and she contacts her old friend Tracey at the Queen Vic, giving her an address to pass on to Phil. Gavin follows Phil to a small hotel. He reaches Kathy first and takes her to a small airfield, with the intent of flying away from England. Phil and Ronnie intercept them and convince Kathy to come back to Walford with them. While Phil arranges a hotel for her to stay in, she hides in The Arches, where she comes face to face with Sharon, who is stunned to find that she is alive. They have an angry confrontation which leads to a physical fight before Phil moves Kathy to a nearby hotel.

Within a week, Kathy is revealed to have Gavin hidden in her bathroom, with him controlling her again. After Ian's wife Jane Beale talks him out of suicide, Ian is shocked to see that Kathy is alive and has witnessed the event. As Ian crosses the road to meet Kathy, he is hit by an oncoming car and rushed to hospital. Ian eventually regains consciousness and breaks down in happiness when he realises that Kathy is alive, but reveals he wants answers for her faking her death. As Ian is leaving hospital, Jane threatens Kathy to stay away from Walford in a bid to protect him which Sharon agrees with. Kathy ignores both Jane and Sharon and reveals to Ian the bruises on her arm as proof of Gavin’s control and abuse. Sharon tells her that despite the physical and mental abuse Gavin put her through, she doesn’t think there is any excuse for what she did. Ian demands to see Kathy and she explains to him that Gavin forced her to go on the run with him as part of an insurance scam and had threatened to kill her and Ben if she refused. Ian persuades her to go to the police and she agrees, however, she lies about why she is there when she enters the station by claiming her handbag is stolen and later tells Ian that she told them everything and they are looking for Gavin. She then secretly meets Gavin who reminds her of their plan.

Kathy returns a few days later and meets with Ben, who is furious to see her again after several years of believing she was dead. He angrily declares that her absence is to blame for the current state of his life, declaring that he is the reason Phil has left due to his homosexuality, but Kathy tells him that she and Phil knew that he was gay before he even started school, and that they have always loved him.

Ian later decides to rebuild his relationship with his mother and allows Kathy to move into his house. Gavin meets Kathy in Walford and reveals that he has kidnapped Phil and threatens to kill him if she does not follow his instructions and give him money. Kathy and Ben reluctantly agree to give into Gavin's demands, but after trying to steal Ian's safe, Kathy decides not to do so. Ian later tells Kathy that her grandson Bobby killed his sister Lucy. Kathy, after seeing Ben drunk and angry at her, confesses to Ian that she is still on the run and she and Ben were planning to con him as Gavin has kidnapped Phil, so Ian throws her out, thinking she cares more about Phil than him. Jane is horrified that he told Kathy about Bobby, but Ian is confident she will not say anything to the police. Kathy then goes to the police station to report the kidnapping, while Ben tells Ian what Gavin has done. Ian contacts Gavin, telling him he knows what he has been doing. It soon turns out that he has been keeping Phil locked in his closet, but by the time Kathy and the police come to his house looking for him, he is not there although a fresh blood stain is found in the kitchen. Kathy later tells the Beales what she has done and Sharon is incensed when she finds out the truth, insisting none of it would have happened if Kathy had not returned. Phil returns home severely injured and Ian allows Kathy to move back into his house. Gavin later holds Kathy, Ben and Phil hostage in their house and when Sharon confronts him, he reveals himself as her father before fleeing. Kathy is given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to fraud.

When Bobby pushes Jane down the stairs during a scuffle, Jane lies to Kathy that she tripped, but Bobby tells Kathy the truth. Kathy confesses her fears to Jane that Bobby may have anger management problems, and after Bobby later smashes a plate in anger, Jane tells Kathy that she is right. Bobby's feud with Sharon's son Dennis Rickman Jr, escalates when Bobby kills Dennis' pet spider. Sharon tells Kathy that he is evil and needs help. Kathy then tells Sharon that Bobby pushed Jane down the stairs so Sharon tells the Beales that she will go to the police about Lucy's killing. Bobby finds out the truth from Dennis, who is later severely injured in a car crash. When the family discover that Phil has been rushed to hospital with a damaged liver, Sharon and Kathy join Phil's ex-fiancé Shirley Carter, in visiting him at to the hospital - only to learn upon arrival that Phil discharged himself. They later find Phil drunk at the pub, where he insults his family and inadvertently hits Kathy when she tries to help him leave.

Kathy is upset when Ian sends Bobby to a boarding school to try to help his anger problems. Ian puts the restaurant up for sale to pay for the school, and though Kathy tries to encourage more trade at the restaurant, Ian accepts an offer from a supermarket chain, Costmart.

Several weeks later, Ian worries he will regret selling the restaurant but Kathy reminds him that he is doing it for Bobby and must tell everyone soon that Costmart is buying it, or she will. The market traders then discover this from Ian, and Shirley's boyfriend, Buster Briggs leads a campaign to boycott all of Ian's businesses, fearing they will all lose their jobs. Kathy tells Buster that Ian needs to fund Bobby's place in school, so Buster announces this at Ian's meeting with the traders, angering Ian. Buster asks Kathy why the school is so important, so she tells him to leave her alone as she does not care about him but then kisses him. She then shows her loyalty to Ian by telling potential boycotters that Buster is a criminal. Ian then changes his mind about selling the restaurant. Buster later propositions Kathy for a secret relationship, believing he is with the wrong woman, and they begin meeting each other secretly.

As she tries to meet up with Buster, Gavin stops her and tells her that he has Dennis, so she gets into his car. Gavin takes her to a house and she realises that Dennis is not there. Gavin says they can live there together. Gavin's sister Margaret Midhurst arrives, and Gavin locks Kathy in a room to stop her from leaving, while he and Margaret argue. Margaret hits him over the head with a vase and the two women attempt to escape but the most of the doors and windows are locked. Gavin regains consciousness and follows them, and it results in Margaret's death when she falls onto the windscreen of Buster's car, who has arrived with Sharon to rescue Kathy. Sharon calls the ambulance for Margaret whilst she and Buster search for Kathy. Buster finds Kathy, while Sharon confronts Gavin, who is arrested.

Later, Kathy tells Buster she needs to end their relationship because things are getting too serious for her. However, as they passionately kiss one last time, they are unaware that Phil has seen them. Kathy spends a night away with Buster and on her return, she is distraught after being told that Ben has been killed and blames herself for not being with him, thus ending her affair with Buster. However, she is relieved when it is a mistaken identity and comforts Ben when he discovers it was his boyfriend, Paul Coker, who is dead.

As Buster awaits the verdict from his son Dean Wicks' rape trial, Kathy reveals her two rapes to him during a heart-to-heart, they later embrace. Kathy resumes her affair with Buster but she is found out by Ian and Jane following a burglary at Ian's restaurant. However, although she denies that her lover is Grant or Buster, she tells Jane that she will end the affair. After Buster's son, Mick Carter discovers the affair without knowing Kathy's identity, he urges Buster to tell Shirley or leave Walford for good. Buster asks Kathy to leave Walford with him, but she ultimately decides to remain in Walford with her family, leaving him heartbroken again and he leaves alone.

Kathy accompanies Pam Coker when she visits Diane Atmore, who is the mother of Simon Atmore, one of Paul's killers. Kathy and Pam try to persuade Diane to get Simon to plead guilty, which he eventually does. As a result, Simon and the rest of the killers are sentenced to thirty years in prison. Kathy is horrified when she hears about Ben wanting to donate his liver to Phil. She firmly tells him that she will not allow him to do so but Ben insists. Kathy accompanies Ben to his appointment to discuss the transplant. Kathy tries to support him but ends up embarrassing him when she mentions Paul's death and suggests that it is a reason for Ben wanting to donate. An angry Ben later tells Kathy to stay out of his life as she always has done.

Kathy joins the Walford Players and clashes with the Christmas show's director, Geraldine Clough over her plans initially to run a talent show, then to have a fairy godmother in her version of A Christmas Carol and finally for casting Kathy as a pantomime horse. Kathy's protests lead to Geraldine's resignation and Kathy becoming the director. Kathy is overjoyed when Ian decides to rename the café back to "Kathy's", which leads her to decide that she no longer wants to be Kathy Sullivan, opting to change her name back to Kathy Beale by deed poll. Ben is hurt with Kathy's decision to change her surname to Beale (rather than his surname of Mitchell), feeling pushed out of the family, but she reassures him that it does not make him any less important to her than Ian. 

Babe Smith starts selling breakfasts at the Vic and attempts to steal trade from the café by putting rat droppings in the café's coffee machine, leaving Kathy furious when she finds out. Kathy reports Babe for breaking the Vic's license by selling alcohol outside of their licensed hours. This leads to Babe, Mick and Shirley being arrested and fined, which Kathy feels guilty about. Kathy suffers minor injuries when a car, driven by Michelle, crashes a car into the chip shop.

After Phil returns from Italy, he tells Kathy about an offer he has received on the car lot land and confides in her about the guilt he still has over the car lot fire. Phil gives Ben the Arches and Kathy lets slip to Ben about the value of the car lot land, which Phil hands over to Jay Brown. Kathy insists to Phil that he justifies his reasons to Ben about the car lot land.

Kathy returns from holiday and finds out from Kim Fox-Hubbard about the gas explosion that left Jane severely injured and that Steven Beale has died. Ian rejects Kathy's support. Ben tells Kathy that Ian may still have anger towards her for faking her death, despite accepting her. Kathy confides in Carmel Kazemi about her relationship with Ian and Carmel advises her to work at it. Kathy tells Ian and Ben that she feels that she has become irrelevant to them, but is determined to be their mum and apologises for not being there and Ian finally shows his emotions.

On the day of Steven's memorial, Linda Carter breaks down in the café and Kathy comforts her. Linda confides in her about her rape at the hands of Dean and says that she doesn’t feel her husband is listening to her. Kathy responds by telling her about her rape and encourages Linda to keep working on her relationship with Mick since he was still there and had believed Linda, unlike Pete.

Later at the memorial, once Kathy and Ian are walking away, a man leaves flowers for Kathy. The man is revealed to be James Willmott-Brown, who has secretly returned to Walford as the CEO of his properly company called "Weyland & Co"; James is plotting to conquer the Square and is aided by his daughter Fi Browning, her brother Luke Browning, their half-brother Josh Hemmings and James' brother-in-law Hugo Browning. Kathy is unbeknownst about James' return until Halloween, after she comforts Michelle about her stalker Tom Bailey - as well as helping her give advice to Shakil Kazemi about Bex Fowler. When she closes the café for the night, Kathy is startled when James appears and greets her - explaining that he has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Grabbing hold of a knife while James acts casual, Kathy rubbishes beliefs that they are alike - not does she believe James when he claims that the reason for his visit is to move on from the past. Kathy wants James to explain truthfully what happened on the night of the rape, but he continues to act in denial - prompting Kathy to furiously retell it. Whilst doing so, Kathy realises that James has intended to rape her all along and demands to know when he decided to do so in the first place - pointing out that the impact had scarred her for life. Unfazed, James gives Kathy his home address before leaving.

Kathy later confides in Ian that James is back, prompting him to inform Phil about this. When confronting James with the threat of killing him should he go anywhere near Kathy again, Phil finds out that Ben's boyfriend is James' son. Phil tells Kathy that Luke is James' son and Phil fails to warn Luke away from Ben. Ben is angry with what Phil did and when Kathy tries to get Ben and Phil to make up, Kathy tells Ben that Phil was protecting him as James raped her. After struggling to process what he is told, Ben is determined to hurt James, but Kathy orders Ben to keep out of it as it happened to her and not him. Ben confronts Luke with what he has been told and Luke tells Ben that James wants to meet him. Ben takes a hammer when he meets James and without Luke's presence, Ben threatens James, but James insists to Ben that he and Kathy were having an affair and she consented. As Ben is about to attack James, Luke rushes in and pulls Ben off James, who tells Ben that he knows he doesn't trust or believe Kathy.

Kathy decides to leave Walford, especially when she finds out Ben met James, but Kathy opts to remain and gives Ben's relationship with Luke her blessing. However, before they get back together, Luke ends the relationship when Ben discovers Project Dagmar that Luke is secretly working on - which reveals that it will change Albert Square with a block of flats that is to replace the Queen Vic. Later on that night, Kathy is shocked when Max Branning kisses Fi in front of his girlfriend Carmel and tells him that he shouldn't be ashamed of himself. Shortly after Carmel leaves in tears, however, Kathy is shocked when James arrives to serve the Carters with an eviction notice; James casually greets Kathy hello and she leaves when he promises to see her later.

Kathy later learns from Phil that Luke attacked Ben and the trio later find out from Ian about James' plan - further discovering that Max had in fact been conspiring with James to exact revenge on Walford for being disbelieved over the fact that Bobby killed Lucy and how the impact had led him to be wrongfully imprisoned for Lucy's murder.

Kathy is later angry with Ian when she finds out from Luke that Weyland owns the café. Kathy confronts Fi over what James did to her and about all the women James has destroyed, including her own mother, Elizabeth Willmott-Brown. Kathy refuses to go into work and when she spills some hot food, Ian catches her making her hands sore through cleaning and Kathy breaks down to Ian, admitting she has not overcome what James has done to her. Ian arranges to meet James and tapes their conversation, where James initially tells Ian that he and Kathy loved each other, but then admits to raping Kathy and deduces Ian's plan when he attempts to flee; James has Ian restrained and deletes his recording, before threatening to further harm his family and tells him to send his best to Kathy.

By the time Fi has started to learn what her father is really like, she asks Kathy about the rape and her version causes Fi to be physically sick. Fi tells Kathy that she believes her but isn’t sure what to do so Kathy tells Fi to spend her money on a therapist.

On Christmas Day, it’s revealed that Max killed Steven and forced Jane to leave and after Ian attacks him, Kathy runs to Phil’s house and asks him to deal with Max. Kathy later hears news of Abi and Lauren Branning falling from the Queen Victoria roof. As Abi and Lauren are being wheeled through the hospital ward, Tanya Cross can be seen staring after them, blank-eyed. Ian and Kathy arrive just after and try to comfort her.

Fi eventually confronts James about Kathy's theory, prompting him to disown his daughter. After safeguarding his documents that could expose Weyland & Co's illegitimate activities, which he showed Fi earlier on before disowning her, James visits Kathy in the cafe once more. They gradually talk about the past and Kathy soon learns that James' intent of conquering the Square was all a ruse, and that his real plan is to use this opportunity to win her over by granting her control of his company. When James proposes that they leave Walford to start anew, Kathy appears interested until she then points out that he is seeking to buy her silence as well. James denies this, but Kathy - undeterred by his manipulation tactics - stands up for herself and grabs James by the genitals, making it clear that her family and friends in Walford are all that matter to her. Upon threatening to cut James' genitals off and serve them to him in a sandwich, further making it clear that she will never submit to him in any circumstance, Kathy tells James that he is going to hell no matter how hard he tries to make amends for raping her or terrorising the Square. James leaves defeated and is later taken into custody when Fi, realising that Kathy was telling the truth about her father, extracts the documents and delivers them to the police. Fi later departs Walford after disowning her father and undoing his control of the Square, as well as making amends with Kathy by giving her back the café.

2018-2020: Relationship with Masood Ahmed, buying the Albert and supporting Bobby Beale and Rainie Highway[]

Kathy organises a tea party at the café for the New Year and says that anytime any of the women on the Square have a problem they can go there and whatever they share won't go anywhere else. Karen Taylor asks Kathy if she can have a job in the cafe but she tells her that they're not hiring.

Ben tells Kathy he's planning on going away for a few days and she worries it's because Luke has contacted him but he reassures her that it's just a break to get his head straight. Before he leaves, he gifts her a necklace which he says is fake.

Kathy discovers that Mel has returned to the Square and isn't happy after what she did to Ian.

Kathy is sympathetic with Stacey Fowler after Martin Fowler kicks her out and refuses to let her see her kids so she tries to convince Martin to forgive Stacey for cheating on him but he says he doesn't want to.

Masood Ahmed is given a job in the chippy and attempts to sell his own food without Kathy knowing. When she finds out, she tries firing him but he persuades her to let him stay on and continue selling his own food. Ian returns from New Zealand and is angry when discovers Kathy has hired Masood and that she's allowed him to sell his own food but after seeing how well it's selling, he tries taking credit for it leading Masood to quit. Masood visits Kathy later in the day and it's made obvious she's developed feelings for him.

Ian organises a surprise party for Kathy in the café for her sixty-eighth birthday but is insulted when a cake arrives saying she's seventy.

Shakil goes missing and Kathy and Masood find him under a bush with a stab wound. He is rushed to hospital but subsequently dies.

Masood goes on two dates in the café with a woman he met online and Kathy watches from afar. When she realises that the woman and her mother are using him, she kisses him in front of the them and they leave.

Mick shows her a newspaper report on a man, who he knows is Stuart Highway, hunting child predators and she says if she met the man she would give him a free coffee.

Ian decides he wants to marry Mel again and Kathy repeatedly tries to talk him out of it.

Kathy allows Carmel to hold a presentation on knife crime in the café but Carmel breaks down and is unable to after a group of teenagers steal her dead son's phone and run out. On 6 July 2018, Kathy attends Shakil's funeral alongside Ian.

Stuart comes into the café saying he needs to know where Tina Carter is because she's keyed his car but Kathy says she doesn’t know but if she did, she still wouldn't tell him. She later sees Tina outside the Vic and says Stuart was looking for her but Tina snaps at her.

As Kathy helps Ian and Masood prepare for the opening of Walford East, Her feelings for Masood continue to develop to a point where she's close to admitting them to him but she's interrupted by Ian. Masood kisses Kathy and Ian walks in and shouts at the both of them and throws cake at Masood. Kathy tries calling Ian later but he doesn't answer. Ian tells her that Masood is just using her to get at him and she's angry that he thinks she would be stupid enough to fall for that. Ian kicks her out and she stays with Shirley Carter for the night and wakes up to find her café sign has been broken and she goes to Walford East to confront Ian about it. He reveals that he still doesn't trust Kathy and says that she only cares about herself and that's why she didn't come back when Lucy died. Kathy tries talking to him later but he continues on and says her family were never enough for her. She insists that he is wrong and walks out and locks herself in the café. Masood knocks on the door and she lets him in. She tells him that she can't have a relationship with him because she thinks it would be picking Masood over her son and she doesn't want Ian to feel like that again. She goes back to Ian's house with food and reassures him that she is home.

In November 2018, Kathy goes on holiday to Portugal and doesn't return until February the following year. On her return, she decides that she wants to resume her romance with Masood. Their relationship quickly becomes strained however when he says he would like them to move to Australia. Kathy tells him that moving anywhere is out of the question since Bobby is coming out of prison and she wants to be there to look after him. Masood says that he thinks that she's making a mistake sacrificing her life for Bobby after what he did but she insists that she isn't and after one too many mentions of Jane, she walks out. She finds out Masood has sold half of Walford East to Max Branning and is furious with him for not telling her. She goes to see him and tells him she doesn't want him to go but he says he needs to make it up to his family, as she does to her's, and they both agree that there is no way of them doing it together so their short-lived relationship ends and he leaves.

Kathy later attends Doctor Legg's funeral and catches up with George 'Lofty' Holloway and Mary Smith (who both lived in the Square in the 1980s) in the Vic.

After Masood's departure, Iqra and Habiba Ahmed arrive and attempt to organise a party at Walford East without telling Kathy but she finds out and decides to go. When Ruby Allen is arrested at the party they tell Kathy they're not going to pay her for ruining the night but she tells them to go easier on her because she was having a hard time - Ruby had been raped a few months before.

Kathy repeatedly tries to help Mel Owen while her son, Hunter Owen, is in prison and Mel eventually accepts it when she sees Kathy looking at Ian's bank details. Kathy gives her a job at Walford East as her consultant and Mel tries persuading Kathy to fire Iqra and Habiba and hire her as manager of their half of the business but Kathy decides against it. She senses that Phil is in trouble and tries offering him help, since he had helped her when she needed to get away from Gavin, but when she goes to The Arches, she finds a document with Ben's signature forged on it and starts to worry. She tries to find out what Phil is doing but when she can't she calls Ben and tells him that he needs to come home, which he soon does, accompanied by Lola Pearce and their daughter, Lexi Pearce. Mel turns up at Walford East to ask Kathy when Ian is returning from New Zealand and Kathy lies and says he might not be coming back and that he's skint and when she sees the disappointment on Mel's face, she reveals that she knew her plan was to get money from Ian to free Hunter but that she had to protect her own son.

After Louise Mitchell is kidnapped at Easter, Kathy tries to call the police, worrying about Ben's involvement but Sharon says that Phil doesn't want them to. Lola reveals to Kathy that Phil had been money laundering and Ben had been working with him.

During a hair appointment with Chantelle Atkins, she discovers from her and Kim that the necklace Ben had gifted her was made of real diamonds. After discovering their value, she sells the necklace for £100.000 to fund her purchase of The Albert and decides she wants to turn it into a gay bar. After asking around for advice on the opening of The Albert and only becoming more confused, Tina tells her that she needs someone who understands the community and Kathy later offers Tina job as manager which she accepts and says they should rename it to The Prince Albert. On the day of the opening, Kathy can't find Tina and hasn't heard from her in days so Kim Fox offers to stand in for her. Kathy is furious when Tina eventually turns up at the opening in a mess so asks Kim if she would be interested in working as the manager permanently but when she sees the amount of money Kim had spent on opening night alone, she lets Tina stay on.

She returns home and finds Bobby in the living room and welcomes him home. Ian isn't answering her texts or calls and Bobby thinks it's because Ian doesn't want him there but Kathy tries to persuade him that isn't the case. After finding out about Bobby's return, Max breaks into the Beale house and Kathy runs home to find the living room trashed and Bobby terrified. She continues to worry about Bobby since she knows the nastiness won’t only be from Max and Ben tries to comfort her.

Tina gets a request from a man for a surprise engagement in the Prince Albert and she performs the man's vision to Kathy, which ends in Tina kissing her and Ian walking in. Kathy, angry at him for not calling or coming back sooner, returns to the house with Ian and he reunites with Bobby. They go out for a drink at the Vic and Max comes in and defends Bobby from the Square's judgement. Bobby says that he needs some air and leaves. He is later seen having locked himself in his bedroom with Kathy and Ian on the outside trying to talk to him. The next morning, Kathy notices he has a cut on his face. Ian is convinced Max gave it to him but Bobby says he instigated a fight with some boys in the park - when he had actually done it to himself.

After witnessing a conversation between Ian and Max, she asks Ian what it was about and finds out Rainie Branning has kidnapped baby Abi so goes to see Max, who is annoyed Ian told her. Kathy says she's going to call the police but Max persuades her not to by saying Abi will be taken into care if she does. She returns home and finds Stuart outside with Abi and an injured Rainie. She lets Rainie and Abi stay and promises Rainie she will keep her hidden but an intoxicated Max soon finds out and hits Rainie to the ground before demanding to see Abi, Kathy tells Rainie to go inside and refuses to let Max see Abi because he's drunk. Stacey convinces Kathy into letting Max see his granddaughter by pointing out that Kathy knows what it's like to not be allowed to see her own family. After seeing Rainie still in pain, Kathy tells her to have a rest while she takes Abi to the park but she takes her to see Max instead. Rainie quickly works it out when Kathy returns and finds a toy lion in Abi's pram. She becomes frustrated with Kathy when she offers her pain killers. Kathy insists that she can take the pills if she is sensible with them but Rainie refuses, claiming Kathy doesn't understand addiction, and storms upstairs. When she comes down later, Kathy explains to Rainie that she does know what she's talking about because she had watched as her daughter had gone through and eventually died of the same thing - she failed to help Donna but she wants to stop Rainie from meeting the same fate. Rainie is still scared that if Max finds out she's taken pain killers he will make sure she never sees Abi again but Kathy reassures her that she isn't going to tell him. Stuart takes Rainie's pain killers from her bag and when Kathy finds Rainie searching for them she is worried she has taken more than the dose so when she gets the next prescription, she says she will only give her the correct dose a day. Rainie and Kathy return to the house and find an open petrol cannister and a note from Max saying Bobby is with him and Rainie threatens to tell everyone about it unless Kathy gives her the rest of the prescription so she does and Rainie moves out. Rainie soon runs out and continues to threaten that she will tell people about Bobby so Kathy takes Ben's pain killers and gives them to Rainie.

Bobby moves out to live with Max but soon returns home with his friend Imran, who he met in prison. Bobby has started hallucinating Lucy and Kathy mistakes his discomfort as a result for him being scared of Imran so calls the police on him and he is sent back to prison. Kathy begs Bobby to tell her why he can't come home but he doesn't and after continuing to see Lucy he leaves the house. Bobby eventually ends up walking into a train tunnel hallucinating that Lucy is in there and under the influence of drugs but Callum Highway goes after him to stop him getting hurt. Kathy and Ian go and see Bobby in the hospital and he tells them about his hallucinations and that he's struggling to accept he's not a bad person despite what he did to his sister. While in hospital, Bobby talks to a psychiatrist who tells Ian that he should be more accepting of his sons wishes to convert to Islam because it seems to bring him comfort and Kathy shows her support for Bobby by inviting the Masoods to see Bobby.

Rainie asks Kathy for a job in the café and she offers her a trial but after she finds her drinking, she says she won't hire her and takes Abi. Kathy suspects Rainie is still taking pain killers so tries to find out by asking Callum, who she and Stuart are staying with but when Stuart finds out she's been asking about Rainie he threatens to not let her see Abi if she doesn't stop. The police get reports of drug dealing in the Prince Albert so have security guards put in to search everyone as they come in and if they find drugs, put them in the Prince Albert safe. Kathy continues to worry that Rainie is taking drugs so leaves her with a bag of crack to see if she can trust she won't take any and when Stuart discovers this, he attacks Kathy and says she isn’t allowed to see Abi and Rainie tips the bag down the sink. Kathy apologises to Rainie and allows her to take Abi to the park on her own, not knowing that Rainie had actually taken some of the crack. Rainie asks Kathy for money to buy something for Abi but she instead uses the money to buy drugs and later punches Kathy, who she blames for causing her relapse, in front of a policeman and is arrested. Stuart is seen standing outside the café staring at Kathy, he goes in the next morning drunk and she apologises again and offers Stuart a job and he begins working in the café but after that doesn’t work out, she gives him a job at Walford East instead.

Mel asks Kathy to do the catering for a party she is throwing for Sharon's fiftieth birthday and Louise’s eighteenth birthday and she accepts, not knowing that Mel is secretly planning on revealing Sharon and Keanu Taylor's affair but she leaves the party and dies before she can. After Mel’s death, Kathy and Ian invite Lola, Martin, Ben and Callum for lunch in her honour but it soon turns sour when Ben becomes drunk and Kathy overhears him threatening Martin. She later confronts him about it and tells him it's wrong and when he attempts to turn it back on her by saying she faked her death she reminds him that she was forced to by an evil man, which Ben seems to be turning into. Ben tells her that the abuse she went through was her fault because she was weak and she slaps him and shouts that she’s ashamed of him before running from the room. The next morning she’s still angry with him and tells him he needs to sort himself out or he will end up sad and alone and a few days later he tells her he is trying to.

In December 2019, Rainie comes into the café having been let out of prison and apologises to Kathy for punching her and that she forgives her for what she did.

On Christmas Day, Kathy finds Kat Moon upset and invites her to come to hers because the Slaters’ electricity is broken.

On Boxing Day, Martin comes round asking the Beales where Ben is, which none of them know, and Sonia Fowler later comes round asking where Martin is, which they also don’t know.

Kathy finds out that Ian has invited Sharon to stay after being kicked out by Phil while heavily pregnant and is furious, thinking Sharon being there is disrupting her family but Ian tells her if she isn’t happy then she should move out instead, which she does and stays with Ben at the Mitchell house. She becomes worried when she finds a letter from Ben saying he’s leaving but soon finds him and he explains that the police think he and Phil might have killed Keanu so the pair had planned on leaving the country but he hadn’t gone through with it.

Ian comes to see her one morning and tells her he’s been up all night with Sharon and she tells him that if he is struggling, he should remember he has no obligation to Sharon since she isn’t family but Ian responds by asking her what Angie would say if she was alive and Kathy looks guilty. She eventually decides to return home after repeatedly insisting she will not but warns Sharon that she doesn’t want any arguments.

Kathy catches Sharon in the Mitchell house trying to steal paperwork for the Arches and she tells her that she will lose Dennis if she continues scheming. After a conversation with Bobby, Kathy decides to help Sharon and goes to the Vic to confront Shirley, who Dennis has been staying with, and persuades her and Dennis to see Sharon. Dennis begins insulting Kathy and Sharon, angering Bobby who pushes Dennis, his head hitting the corner of the table. Bobby runs out and after Kathy fails to find him, she’s worried he won’t come home this time but he does.

Ian offers to hold Bobby’s religious conversion at Walford East but Kathy is suspicious that he has an ulterior motive. Her suspicions are proved right when a reporter comes to see them the next day and reveals she is coming to Bobby’s conversion and both Kathy and Bobby are furious that he seemed to care more about publicity than his son. Police officers visit the Beales and say they’ve had reports of somebody visiting Islamic extremism websites. Ian starts asking Bobby if it is true and Kathy tells him he needs to apologise to Bobby. Kathy goes to Bobby’s conversion but Ian stays at home and they return to hear Ian mid-conversation saying he struggles to love Bobby. He kicks Bobby out and Kathy desperately tries to get him to go after him.

After learning that Bobby isn’t in any trouble, Kathy tries to persuade Ian to apologise to him but he says he won’t and Bobby says he won’t forgive his dad either.

Sharon tells Kathy she is planning on leaving the Square permanently but Kathy is certain she will return and says she will be there to welcome her when she does. Bobby gets attacked by a group of Islamophobes and is taken into hospital and while at the hospital Kathy gets a call from Ben saying he’s at the funeral parlour and she hears Sharon cry. When she gets there, she finds Sharon in labour and Ben with a gun, refusing to leave or let Kathy call an ambulance without knowing whether Phil is alive so Kathy reassures him he is. While helping Sharon through labour, Sharon tells her that she misses her mum, Angie, and Kathy says she does too and hugs her. She notices that Sharon is bleeding and worries something is wrong but Sharon’s baby survives, unlike Dennis who drowns the same night.

Kathy reunites with Peter in the hospital and they watch as an unconscious Ian, who has also nearly drowned, is wheeled through the hospital. Later when Ian wakes up Kathy tells him that Dennis didn’t make it but that she’s proud of him for trying to save him. Kathy tries to help Sharon and her new baby after Denny’s death as well as trying to convince Peter to talk to his dad but he says he’s only there for her and Bobby however the family eventually make up.

After finding pain killers missing from the medicine cabinet and her keys to the Mitchell house missing, Kathy and Ian worry Sharon has taken them to overdose with but Ian finds her before she does and she continues trying to help Sharon with looking after her new baby, who she has named Kayden Watts. She also goes with Sharon to the funeral parlour to organise Denny’s funeral and tries convincing Sharon to focus on Kayden, thinking that will help while she’s grieving but after convincing herself she is a bad mother, Sharon gives her son to Karen. Knowing Sharon will regret the decision, Kathy tries to get Ian to talk to her but he instead pays Karen to leave Walford permanently with Kayden. Kathy attends Denny’s funeral alongside Sharon and Ian but when Phil arrives at his wake in The Vic, Sharon grabs a knife to stab him with but Kathy takes it from her hand. Phil later breaks into the Beale house and Kathy warns him not to go near Sharon but he says he just wants to talk to her so she, Ian and Bobby go upstairs while they argue.

During a family lunch with Lola and Lexi, Kathy learns that Ben hit his head during the boat crash and lost his hearing as a result. She goes to see him and he tells her there is an operation he can have which she accompanies him to but is delayed due to him having a fever and he ends up having it done later in the year. Kathy asks Ian if he has cleaned out the medication from their bathroom cabinet.

2021-2024: Family drama, relationship with Rocky Cotton and Keanu Taylor's death[]

After Ian leaves in January 2021, Peter is left in charge of the businesses. Kathy continues running the cafe with grandson Bobby working in the chippy.

Kathy begins dating Tom Cotton (under the alias Rocky Cant - Sonia Fowler's long lost father). Tom begins to feel extremely guilty for lying and, as a result, Tom suffers a heart attack and is rushed to hospital. Tom decides he is going to leave Walford but is convinced by his niece Dotty Cotton to stay. When Dotty's mother Sandy Gibson turns up and threatens to tell everyone who Tom really is, Tom threatens her to keep quiet, Dotty witnesses this and decides that she is going to tell everyone his real identity. On Christmas Day 2021, Dotty reveals the lie to Sonia, Kathy, Bobby and Peter during Christmas dinner. Kathy separates with Tom after this.

By 2022, Kathy eventually forgives Tom and they get back together and later moves into 45 Albert Square with her.

On 10 May 2022, Peter is attacked in a case of mistaken identity. Jay confronts Ben the next day - as he knows that Ben has been beating up homophobic people. Jay tells Kathy what Ben has done and she is furious. Kathy decides to keep this information from Peter. Lewis Butler tells Peter it was Ben who attacked him and tells him that Kathy knew. This leads to Peter feeling unloved by his family. Peter steals money from Kathy and leaves Walford and it is revealed on 18 July 2022 that Peter has emptied the business account, leaving Kathy without any money. This leads to Kathy selling Walford East to Suki Panesar.

Kathy would later propose to Tom after she got Tom's romantic gesture mixed up with a proposal. A hesitant Tom agreed to marry Kathy but it was later revealed that he was still married to Jo Cotton. Sonia, Reiss Colwell and Tom agree to try and track her down so that Tom can divorce Jo and marry Kathy. Jo arrives in Albert Square and introduces herself to Kathy, asking if her husband is home. Kathy and Tom eventually marry on 18 July 2023.

It is revealed that Ian's ex-wife Cindy is still alive and Cindy returns to Walford in August to reunite with her daughters - Gina and Anna Knight. Kathy is shocked to face Cindy again after all this time. Cindy knows of Kathy's fake death too so tells her that she is not in a position to judge. Kathy begrudgingly lets Cindy move in with Ian and Peter.

After gambling away his money, Rocky finds himself in debt to Nish Panesar after he gives him a loan. After the cafe's electrics are dodgy, Rocky plans to stage a fire in an attempt to get the insurance money. This plan backfires when Bobby tries to put the fire out, endangering his life. Peter and Rocky rush in to get him out but the roof collapses on them. Luckily they all survive after being taken to hospital. Kathy is arrested on suspicion of causing the fire.

In December 2023, Kathy is suspicious after Rocky and his friend Harvey Monroe have fallen out for a month. Harvey tells Kathy about Rocky's gambling and being in debt to Nish. Kathy asks if it was Rocky who started the cafe fire and he is forced to confess. An emotional Kathy tells Rocky that she never wants to see him again.

After Sharon and Keanu Taylor's cancelled wedding on Christmas Day - after it is revealed that Keanu staged his own son's kidnapping and Sharon telling him that Albie Watts is not his son after all - Kathy goes back to the Vic with Sharon, Denise Fox and Linda Carter. Phil arrives asking if Sharon will let him see Albie once everything has settled down. Sharon doesn't want him messing up Albie's life but Phil won't back down. Kathy sticks up for Sharon, causing Phil to rip her dress when he pushes her. A while later, Stacey Slater and Suki knock on the Vic doors after Nish Panesar tries to attack Suki. The women suggest inviting Nish over to the pub so Suki can confront him about her relationship with Eve Unwin and to tell him to leave. Nish goes to grab Suki by force, with the rest of the women trying to stop him. Denise hits him over the head with a champagne bottle, causing Nish to fall unconscious. Sharon checks his pulse and announces that he is dead. Keanu enters the pub and sees Nish on the floor. He asks where Albie is and Sharon tells him that he is safe and to leave. Keanu goes round the bar to head upstairs but Sharon stops him. Keanu says he is taking his son as he isn't safe with Sharon, assuming that she has killed Nish. Sharon reminds him that he is the one who will go to prison for kidnapping and insists that Albie is not his son. Keanu resorts to strangling Sharon. The women panic, Kathy and Denise desperately try to get him off her. Linda spots a meat thermometer fork next to the phone and picks it up and stabs Keanu in the back, saving Sharon but killing Keanu in the process. The six women bury Keanu's body under the floor of the burned down café.

Kathy and the other women try to lie low over the beginning of 2024. However, trouble soon brews in April when the café floor caves in and Bernadette Taylor discovers a body under the floor. On 4 April, the police confirm that the body is that of Keanu. Sharon is arrested but is soon released. Kathy secretly meets up with the women as they discuss what to do. Linda, struggling with the guilt, decides to confess. However, Stacey has another idea. She plants the meat thermometer in Dean Wicks' house when she learns that he plans to take daughter Jade Masood (with who's medication he has been tampering with to prevent her from leaving him) to New York. Having evaded justice for raping Linda in the past, the six go along with the plan and Dean is arrested for Keanu's murder, seemingly leaving everyone else in the clear.

When Nish finds out that he is dying, he decides to sell the cafe to prove that he wants to spend time with his family whilst he still can. Kathy gives him £1 for it. Kathy takes leadership of the cafe once again and hires Bianca to do some shifts. In July, Cindy is suspicious that Ian is having an affair and speaks to Kathy. She refuses to believe it and insists that Cindy should speak to Ian rather than go in all guns blazing. Kathy also opens up by how she is missing Tom, wishing he'd just told the truth - and she advises Cindy to also be truthful.

Kill count[]

Connected murders and deaths[]

  1. Keanu Taylor (25 December 2023) (association) - When Keanu is killed by Linda Carter in defence of Sharon Watts. Kathy helped cover up the crime by helping move his body underneath the floorboards in the café.

Employment history[]

Occupation Years Active
Bartender at The Queen Victoria 1985-1988
Barmaid at The Dagmar 1988
Co-Owner of Bridge Street Café 1991-1992
Co-Owner of Kathy's Café 19921998
Owner of Kathy's Café 2017-2023
Owner and Licensee of the The Prince Albert 2019 to present

Residence[]

Address Years
14B Walford Towers 1974-1988
3A Albert Square 1989-1993
43A Albert Square 1994-1996
5 Albert Square 1996-1998
29 Albert Square 2000-2001
45 Albert Square 2015-2023, 2023-
25 Albert Square 2023

Quotes[]

To Pete Beale (first line): "Blokes like that go on forever. They're pickled so they last longer.” (19 February 1985)


To Ian Beale (before leaving in 1998): "You and Ben are the best things that have ever happened to me in my life. Every man I've ever known counts for nothing against you two. I love you to death, come here."


To Ben Mitchell (last line before leaving in 2000): "We've both got to be really, really brave. You promise me?"


To Phil Mitchell (first line after returning in 2015): "Hello Phil."

See also[]

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