In 1986, he became close to 16 year old Michelle Fowler, who was pregnant and they soon formed a relationship before marrying later in 1986.
In 1988, Lofty was overjoyed to learn that Michelle was expecting his baby, but their marriage fell apart when Michelle confessed she had an abortion and he left Walford.
Lofty grew up in a house with a father, who was only happy when he reminisced about his times in the army and a mother, who was possessive and narrow minded. Due to his upbringing, he grew to dislike his mother and pity his father. Lofty joined the army and he had some happy times there as he got a uniform and was able to set the boundaries, however he had to leave when it turned out he was physically unfit with chronic asthma. He doted on his auntie Irene, who lived in a hospice with inoperable cancer.
Lofty arrives in Walford in late February 1985. Originally he seems a confident man who was on the ball, it soon transpired that underneath he was easily lead and was sucked into the nasty schemes of Nick Cotton. Lofty became a bit of a doormat.
Lofty's relationship with Michelle
When Michelle goes to the café after visiting a clinic and Lofty sits with Michelle. Michelle appreciates Lofty when he understands where she is coming from when she says that she is having a kid, but has to go to school. When the baby kicks Michelle, Lofty asks Michelle if he could feel it and Michelle agrees. Lofty is amazed and can't believe that it's a real baby and Michelle is glad when Lofty speaks like that as she doesn't feel so alone. Lofty reassures Michelle that he is here and Michelle thanks him.
Lofty arrives at the Fowler's to convince Arthur to give his blessing to propose to Michelle. Lofty explains to Arthur how he has a chance of a job and if he gets the job, he will continue working at The Vic part time and they could possibly get a small flat from the council. Arthur understands Lofty means well and he allows him to ask Michelle to marry him.
At The Vic, Den gives Lofty an engagement ring for Michelle. In the gardens, Lofty tries to pluck up the courage to ask Michelle to marry him, but they are interrupted by a homeless man. Lofty gives him the money to buy a drink at The Vic. Once the man leaves, Lofty explains to Michelle it might seem daft after the way they got together, but he wants to make things proper and how she is special to him. Lofty tells Michelle that he wants them to get engaged and he presents Michelle with a ring before asking her to marry him and Michelle accepts his proposal. At The Vic, Den and Angie allow Lofty and Michelle to announce their engagement.
Michelle's second pregnancy and abortion
On New Years Eve 1987 at The Vic, Michelle confides in Pauline that she is pregnant and Pauline thinks it's brilliant news. Days later at the Fowler's, Lofty points out to Michelle how she never laughs anymore and all he wants is for her to be happy, but when he tries to make her happy, it doesn't work. Michelle admits to Lofty that she doesn't love him and that she's just fond of him and if she carries on just being fond of him, she'll grow to hate him. Michelle says that she is moving back in with her parents and he can see Vicki whenever he wants.
Michelle meets up with Den at the canal and she tells him that she doesn't love Lofty, however she is pregnant and doesn't want the baby. Michelle says that she wants to make things happen instead of things happening to her and Den asks what she wants and she surprises him when she says she wants to live with him. However, Den brings up that there is Sharon and that Pete and Arthur would do him. Den confesses that he doesn't love her, however he is grateful that she had his kid and he'll always help her out. When Pauline notices Michelle get out of Den's car, she tells Lofty at the laundrette that Michelle is expecting his baby.
Michelle secretly books an appointment with a consultant after being referred by a doctor and in the cafe, Lofty shares the news with Sue, Ali and Dot. Later that night, Lofty visits Michelle to say goodnight to Vicki and he asks Michelle when they will all get back together. As Lofty leaves, Dot arrives and Michelle isn't happy to learn that Dot knows of her pregnancy, believing her mum told her, however, Dot lets it slip that Lofty told her. Lofty apologises for telling people, but they would have noticed sooner or later. Michelle sees Den at The Vic and in the barrell store, Michelle admits to Den that she can't have the baby and there are no appointments to see a consultant for 3 weeks, but she can't wait that long or she'll go mad.. Den asks if she is certain that she wants an abortion and he offers to pay for a private clinic. Michelle tells Den that she will tell Lofty after the abortion.
In the cafe, Arthur learns that Michelle is pregnant from Dot and he heads home to confront Pauline and Lou. Pauline insists that she was going to tell him and when Arthur worries that they are hiding that there is complications with the baby, Pauline says that there isn't and Michelle wants to keep it to herself. Michelle misinterprets what Arthur means when he says that the baby she is expecting will be proper, but Arthur clarifies himself by saying it's the proper way of doing things as she is married. Michelle asks Lofty to look after Vicki whilst she goes out and Lofty agrees, but he asks Michelle why she has to ask because he isn't the babysitter. Lofty asks Michelle when she is coming back to him, but Michelle is uncertain as he doesn't like the living arrangements. Lofty intercepts Michelle and he knows the problem is them and he has a right to know as she is his wife and carrying his baby.
Michelle arrives at the clinic and is given a form to sign before she see's the counsellor, Debbi, then the doctor. During her counselling session, Debbi explains to Michelle that after her, she will see the doctor for a routine medical examination and Debbi says that they later will have a talk on contraception and her fertility won't be affected in any way. Michelle points out that the way she is feeling is the best form of contraception for her. When Debbi asks Michelle to tell her why she wants an abortion, Michelle has a lot of reasons and she doesn't want to go into it because it's the reason why she is here. Michelle then admits that she can't cope with the pregnancy and bad times and when Debbi brings up her family, Michelle says they don't know she is having an abortion and she doesn't care what they think as it's her life. Michelle snaps at the counsellor before apologizing and then she begins to open up that she feels hopeless about the pregnancy and if she had the baby, she'd be tied to Albert Square forever and she feels sorry for Lofty and that their marriage is play acting. Michelle says that Lofty thinks she is coming back to him, but she isn't and with her family, all she hears is them asking how Lofty is and she feels sorry for her mum having to contend with Martin, her dad and grandmother. Michelle feels that if she has the baby, it would mean that she has to go back to Lofty and she can't go on being unhappy before breaking down in tears. Debbi realizes that Michelle has made her mind up after having a tough time and they need a doctor to sign her form before they can officially book her in.
In the cafe with Mary and Rod, Lofty tells Mary and Rod that he's looking forward to the baby and as he leaves the cafe, he notices Michelle going somewhere. At The Vic, Lofty asks Den and Pat if they know of Michelle's whereabouts as he noticed her go somewhere and was wondering where Vicki was. At the clinic, the nurse runs through the types of anesthetic Michelle can have and Michelle opts for the general anesthetic so she doesn't have to see anything meanwhile at home, Lofty works on a letter to Michelle saying that with the new baby, things will be how the used to be. Later at the clinic, Michelle comes round after the abortion and is slightly drowsy. Michelle arrives home and Michelle tells him that she had an abortion the previous day. Lofty is devastated as the baby was the only thing he had ever achieved in his life and she took it away. When Michelle goes home, Pauline asks where she was the night before and where Vicki was. When Pauline finds out Vicki was with Sue all night, Michelle says if she left Vicki with them, then she'd have to tell them where she was going. Michelle finally tells her that she had an abortion. Arthur isn't happy with Michelle's decision when Pauline tells him and that they'll have to tell Lou, but Lou comes in and says she already knows and if they had eyes in their heads, they would've realized the previous day. A drunken Lofty later arrives at the Fowler's and he asks Michelle why she aborted his baby and not Vicki and he reckons that Michelle hates him that much, but Michelle tells him she doesn't hate him and Lofty declares to Michelle that he hates her. Lofty says that he will no longer be treated like an idiot and he will make Michelle pay.
Lofty goes to The Vic the following day and he tells Den, Pat and Donna that they've all been like family to him. Lofty announces that he isn't coming back to work at The Vic and he's going to move out of Walford. In the meantime, he has decided to take the job at The Dagmar as Simon has been good to him and it'll be good to work with an old friend.
Lofty searches for jobs where he can work with children and Duncan gives Lofty information about a job as a handyman in a children's home, which he got through the post. The job isn't exactly the sort of job Lofty had in mind, but Duncan says it will be a step on the ladder for someone sympathetic and who can get through to the children plus they are like a family, so that will include him.
Before he leaves, Lofty visits Lou to say goodbye and Lou says perhaps what has happened was for the best and when he is away from Walford, he could probably see why Michelle did what she did as she is still only young and couldn't face the prospect of what she saw. Lou tells Lofty that he may one day be able to forgive Michelle as she didn't mean no harm. Lou asks Lofty what he is going to do and Lofty has been offered the job as a handyman in a children's home in Bedfordshire.
Lofty catches up with Michelle and says goodbye to Michelle and informs her that he’s leaving. Michelle tells Lofty that she was fed up of his emotional blackmail and upsetting her and Vicki. Michelle sternly reminds him that it’s over between them, including Vicki and Lofty asks her about their relationship and why she chose him. Lofty asks if she ever loved him, but Michelle tells him that she never loved him. Lofty then asks Michelle who Vicki’s father is as he believes she was seeing whoever it was throughout their marriage. When Lofty insists she tells him who it is, Michelle snaps at him and tells him the reason why things didn’t work between them was because he was incapable of making any decisions and he spent all his time trying to be nice or get things right. Michelle adds that she received no support or help of him and he is useless. As Lofty grabs Michelle by her jacket, Michelle knows that he doesn’t have the bottle to hit her and Lofty says that he does his head in with her. At The Dagmar, Lofty tells Simon, who is unaware that he is leaving, to take care. The following day, Lofty then tells Den that he is leaving and he’s had it with Walford. Lofty thanks Den for all the times he told him what to do as he needed it, but now he doesn’t before he says goodbye to Den.
It was announced in late 2018 that Tom Watt would be reprising his role as Lofty Holloway after thirty-one years from his on-screen departure in 1988, along with Mary Smith (played by Linda Davidson) who also withdrew from the show shortly after Lofty in May 1988. The return storyline is for Lofty and Mary to attend the funeral of another East End original, Harold Legg.
Lofty reveals that he now owns fifteen pubs, all well away from Walford, though he still keeps an eye on The Vic. As he's leaving Dr Legg's wake he gives an envelope to Martin asking him to pass it on to Vicky next time he sees her, saying it's just something for old times' sake. The envelope contains a cheque from Lofty to Vicky for £20,000. Lofty then leaves.
|Lou Beale | Pauline Fowler | Arthur Fowler | Michelle Fowler | Mark Fowler | Pete Beale | Kathy Beale | Ian Beale | Den Watts | Angie Watts | Sharon Watts | Ethel Skinner | Dr Legg | Nick Cotton | Sue Osman | Ali Osman | Saeed Jeffery | Naima Jeffery | Lofty Holloway | Tony Carpenter | Mary Smith | Kelvin Carpenter | Andy O'Brien | Debbie Wilkins|