|Portrayed by|| Jon Peyton-Price (1985–96)|
James Alexandrou (1996–2007)
James Bye (2014–)
|Introduced by|| Julia Smith (1985) |
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014)
|First Appearance||6 August 1985|
|Address||3C Albert Square|
|Date of Birth||July 29th, 1985|
|Occupation||Fruit & Veg stall holder|
Martin Fowler made his first appearance on the 6th August 1985 and he is the son of Arthur Fowler and Pauline Fowler and the father of Bex Fowler and Hope Fowler. He is also the husband of Stacey Fowler and adoptive father to her son Arthur, who was at first believed to be Martin's son as well as the stepfather to her firstborn Lily.
Martin is the youngest son of Arthur and Pauline Fowler, born considerably later than their other children in 1985. 40 year old Pauline was criticised by her mother Lou Beale for having another baby but she insisted that she wanted the child and once Martin was born, Lou came to love him as well. During his early years, Martin was raised with his niece Vicki. As a child, Martin wet the bed until he was 12. In 1996, he discovered his much loved older brother Mark was HIV positive.
Michelle Fowler and her friend Rachel took Martin Fowler and Vicki Fowler to the seaside for paddling, to visit the pier, for ice cream and to build sandcastles. When it was time to go home Michelle asked if they wanted to say another day and she'd secretly booked a caravan. Martin and Vicki slept in bunk beds are Martin told Michelle that he wished she was his mum.
When Pauline and Arthur tell Pauline's mother Lou Beale that Pauline is pregnant, Lou is furious because they have two teenage children, Mark Fowler and Michelle Fowler, and Arthur is unemployed. Lou gives them the choice of either giving the child up for adoption, having an abortion or the family moving out of her home, but she is won round when the family organise a holiday for her to Clacton. The baby’s first christening is postponed when he is diagnosed with gastroenteritis and Lou is delighted when he is finally christened Martin Albert Fowler. When Pauline discovers Arthur had an affair with Christine Hewitt, she bans Arthur from seeing Martin, but they reconcile. Arthur dies when Martin is ten, who then befriends a small gang of young criminals from his local school; a series of petty thefts, burglaries and vandalism culminates in his being arrested. Martin is placed under the supervision of a social worker.
Martin has a brief relationship with Nicky di Marco, but she refuses to have sex with him. Martin turns to Sonia Jackson after Nicky dumps him. Sonia is feeling vulnerable, and after getting drunk, they lose their virginities to each other; she becomes pregnant. Sonia gives birth to daughter Chloe Jackson and she decides to give Chloe up for adoption. When she names Martin as the father, a feud erupts between the Jacksons and the Fowlers, with Pauline demanding custody of the baby instead of her being adopted. This leads to a court hearing where Sonia asks that baby Chloe be returned to her and she will raise her with her boyfriend, Jamie Mitchell, if Martin asks for custody with Pauline to support him. However, the judge rules that the adoption should go ahead when Martin admits that he does not want to be a father. Martin's deviancy continues when he takes drugs provided by Nick Cotton, which leads to Martin's brother Mark Fowler taking revenge and leaving Nick temporarily paralysed.
Martin receives a six-month prison sentence after driving the car that hit Jamie, causing his death. However, he only serves two months, being let out early for good behaviour. Once released, Martin resumes his criminal lifestyle by robbing a shop, blackmailing Kareena Ferreira and growing cannabis in his late father's shed, assisted by his best friend, Asif Malik. This leads to family friend Derek Harkinson taking the blame when the police find out, as Martin cannot risk trouble with the law, due to his previous convictions. It is not until Martin is confronted and forgiven by a bereaved Sonia that he finally begins to feel remorse for his actions and attempts to reform himself.
After a few brief relationships, including a one-night stand with Kelly Taylor, Martin begins growing close to Sonia, and they fall in love. After Sonia helps him come to terms with the death of his brother, Martin decides to propose marriage. Amidst constant interference from Pauline, Martin and Sonia decide to elope. The newlyweds move in with Pauline but she puts constant strain on their marriage with her meddling. Several months later, Martin unwittingly puts his marriage in jeopardy when he encounters Sarah Cairns. After passing out drunk at Sarah's house, she claims that Martin slept with her and begins stalking him. When Martin physically threatens her, she calls the police and has him arrested before revealing their "affair" to Sonia. Sarah's plan is thwarted however, as Sonia refuses to leave her husband. After admitting that their affair is a lie, Sarah stabs Martin with a kitchen knife but Sonia hits her over the head with Pauline's fruit bowl. Sarah is committed to a mental institution and Martin and Sonia put the incident behind them.
Pauline's influence over Martin starts putting a strain on his marriage. Things worsen when Sonia finds out that Martin and Pauline have been visiting her and Martin's daughter Rebecca Fowler against her wishes. Their marriage breaks down, due to Sonia's affair with a fellow student, Naomi Julien. Martin is devastated but she soon regrets it when Martin is given custody of their daughter following the death of her legal guardian and they frequently exclude her from Rebecca's life. Martin tries to move on by dating Carly Wicks briefly, stirring up some jealousy in Sonia. Immediately after they divorce, they begin to regret it and sleep together. They then secretly reunite and hope to keep it from Pauline but she eventually finds out and they argue. Pauline prepares to leave but the house catches fire, and Martin saves her. Pauline then claims that she is dying from a brain tumour. In fact, she is faking it to make sure that Martin ends his relationship with Sonia, which he eventually does. However, Martin is stunned when it is revealed that Pauline has been lying.
When Martin discovers that his mother is leaving for the United States on Christmas Day, he tries to persuade her to stay, but her decision is final. On Christmas Day, Martin proposes to Sonia again and she accepts, but later that day he discovers his mother's dead body in the Square. Martin believes Joe murdered her, but Sonia confesses that she is responsible, as she had hit her earlier. After they fight, the police arrive and Sonia is arrested on suspicion of murder. She is released and he forbids her to see Rebecca. Pauline's post-mortem results are announced and Martin is told that Pauline's death was caused by a severe blow to the head. Sonia goes on the run with Rebecca, leaving Martin devastated. Sonia and Rebecca soon return and Martin calls the police to arrest her. It is later revealed that Joe killed Pauline. When Pauline's will is read, she gives Martin possession of the house but only if he does not live with Sonia. Martin and Sonia reunite anyway and they, Rebecca and Pauline's dog, Betty, leave Walford together. It is later revealed they are touring the USA, staying with Martin's sister, Michelle.
Sonia returns to Walford alone for her sister Bianca Jackson's wedding. Initially Sonia says that Martin and Rebecca are fine, but then tells her mother Carol Jackson that she and Martin are having problems in their marriage. Sonia reveals that she and Rebecca are living in Dagenham and that Martin now has a new girlfriend in Manchester. Sonia returns to Walford and admits that she and Martin still have marital problems.
Martin returns to Walford to support Sonia on the evening of her Fat Blasters' Christmas party, but arrives late and discovers she has collapsed due to complications with a gastric band she got in Bulgaria. Sonia tells Martin that she had the operation as she felt he was not attracted to her any longer and he later recognises that they do not love each other and they separate, with Martin returning to Dagenham. Martin returns to Walford for the wedding of his cousin Ian Beale. He, Stacey Branning and Kush Kazemi discover Nick's dead body at number 23 (recreating the first ever scene of EastEnders). After agreeing not to speak of the matter, they discover that Nick's mother Dot Branning has called the police and confessed that she has killed him. After walking Stacey home, he tries to kiss her but she rejects him. He later returns while Ian and his wife Jane Beale are on their honeymoon, staying at their house and catches Cindy Williams having sex with Liam Butcher and decides to keep an eye on her. He manages to convince his and Sonia's daughter, now calling herself Bex Fowler to come to Walford, where she reveals her new look as a Goth. He also attends Donna Yates's birthday party with Kush and their friends from football. He tries to kiss Donna for a bet but ends up getting into a fight with Arthur Chubb. He also confides in Kush that he thinks he and Sonia could get their marriage back on track but then spots Sonia kissing her new girlfriend, Tina Carter. He later argues with Sonia in The Vic after revealing the truth about her and Tina and tells Bex that Sonia is a lesbian, making her reject Sonia. After Martin and Sonia have a meaningful conversation about their relationship, he sends Bex to live with Sonia. It is later revealed that Martin is homeless and sleeping in the back of his van. Alfie Moon tells Ian of Martin's troubles and Martin moves in with Ian and later tells Sonia that he has lost their house in Dagenham. After filing for divorce, Martin rents a flat with Stacey and her daughter Lily Branning and they start dating, which gets serious despite Stacey's lingering feelings for Kush. Their relationship progresses as Martin and Sonia's divorce comes through and Martin researches bipolar disorder.
When Martin finds out that Stacey is pregnant, he initially wants her to book a termination but later supports her decision to keep the baby. She discovers he is planning to propose and says she does not want to marry again, so he proposes a commitment without marriage, and she accepts. Stacey is electrocuted by a faulty socket that Lee Carter failed to repair properly so Martin punches him and threatens to kill him if the baby dies as a result. At the hospital, Martin finds out she is okay and the baby is a boy. When Stacey is discharged, Martin announces tells everyone in The Vic that the baby is a boy and invites Lee and Whitney to join him, Stacey, Kush, and Shabnam Masood for lunch. He apologises for hitting Lee and forgives him for the incident. Shabnam discovers that Martin is not the father of Stacey's baby, but she and Kush decide not to tell Martin. When Stacey's son is born on Christmas Eve, Martin names him Arthur Fowler, after his father. Two weeks later, Kat Moon discovers that Martin is not Arthur's father and when Stacey and Arthur go missing, Martin and Kush grow concerned and try to find her. Martin eventually finds Stacey on the roof of The Vic. She claims that Arthur is the son of God and that God will rescue them from what she thinks are demons. Martin, believing it is a symptom of her unmedicated bipolar, goes along with what her and convinces her to come home with him. On the day of Charlie's funeral, Stacey is upset that she did not get to the church so God could give her a message. She does not allow Martin near Arthur and smashes glass cups to protect them. When Stacey goes to Kush and Shabnam's for safety, Martin persuades her that she is safe with him. He takes her to hospital and after Stacey speaks to a psychologist, Martin learns that there are no mother and baby units and that Stacey will have to be sectioned. Martin breaks the news to Stacey and is later informed Stacey is suffering from postpartum psychosis. When Martin visits Stacey, he realises that she needs to see Arthur and tries to find a hospital with a mother and baby unit. Kush convinces Martin to have a night out and deliberately leaves his phone behind. When Martin returns, he discovers he missed a call about a mother and baby unit and has missed out. Martin punches Kush and they fight, leading Kush to admit that he has ruined everything. Martin travels to find another mother and baby unit the following day, taking Arthur with him while doing so. Sonia and Bex learn that Martin and Arthur were involved in a car crash on their way home.
Martin discharges himself from hospital, worried that he will miss Stacey's medical review but he has already missed it. He visits Stacey after discovering she has chosen to stay in hospital, where she says that everyone is better off without her, asking him to raise Arthur and Lily the way she wanted. He realises she feels that way because she is in hospital, and vows to break her out. Stacey refuses and the doctor tells him to go home and rest. Martin finds a mother and baby unit for Stacey in Essex and takes her and Arthur there. A nurse hands him a letter Stacey left behind and he reads it at home, discovering that Arthur is Kush's son. He visits Stacey and tells her he knows the truth. She begs for his forgiveness, but he leaves and goes to America, returning a few weeks later. He sees Kush and immediately punches him. He tells Sonia he is only collecting his belongings. When under pressure by those denouncing him for abandoning Arthur, Martin publicly reveals that Kush is Arthur's father. As Martin is about to leave for the airport, Kush promises to be a good father but assures Martin that he will always be the real father no matter what, Martin goes to the mother and baby unit and reunites with Stacey and Arthur. During Stacey's first home visit, Martin is annoyed when Stacey's half-brother Kyle Slater returns but after Kyle tells Stacey he is transgender, she invites Kyle to live with them and Martin, not knowing the truth, reluctantly agrees. When Martin and Stacey reconcile, Stacey proposes to Martin and he accepts. They also tell Kush that he can be a part of Arthur's life, but Kush later says he no longer wants this.
When Kat stops paying Stacey's rent, Martin sets up his own market stall but some of his merchandise is faulty and he is forced to issue refunds, though is unable to get a refund himself. Andy Flynn assists Martin by getting him some work in Sunderland for two weeks. Martin accepts this, but when he returns, Stacey is underwhelmed with the funds he has collected; he insists more is being transferred soon. Andy later tells Martin he knows he was fired from the job and is lying to Stacey. Andy tells Stacey, so Martin explains that he was underqualified for the position. Martin asks Andy for more work, so Andy says that 40 toilets were delivered in error to the flats he is renovating and they could sell them and split the profits. Martin agrees and with Stacey and Kyle's help, they successfully steal them. When Stacey learns her cousin Belinda Peacock is trying to sell them back to Jack, Martin, Stacey, Kyle and Belinda put them back. Following Peggy Mitchell's death, Stacey tells Martin she cannot get married, but she changes her mind. Martin and Stacey marry at the registry office. When Sonia moves away, Bex moves in with Martin and Stacey and the family then move into Sonia's old house, but Kyle and Belinda then both move away. Later, Martin is furious when he finds out that Bex's boyfriend and Kush's younger brother, Shakil Kazemi has ended his relationship with Bex immediately after having sex with her. He attacks Shakil in the market and announces his actions to everyone but this humiliates Bex. He apologises to Bex and Stacey and later comforts Bex.
Martin is unhappy when Stacey's former flame Max Branning returns to Walford after being wrongly accused of murdering Lucy Beale and he and Stacey grow close. Martin tells Stacey he is worried about Max's motives for coming back and informs her that Phil Mitchell bribed the juror of Max's trial to find him guilty, which Stacey later tells Max. Martin discovers that the market is being moved and attempts to get the market traders to strike. A bus crashes into the market and Martin is trapped under it. He tells Stacey he loves her, presuming he will not survive, but is rescued by a group of people who lift the bus so he can be moved. At the hospital, Martin agrees to having a baby with Stacey.
Bex starts to be bullied at school when a nude photo that Shakil took of himself and sent to Bex is distributed around the school from Bex's phone, though Louise Mitchell, Alexandra D'Costa and Madison Drake are the ones who sent it. Shakil's friend Keegan Baker takes revenge by distributing a pornographic clip with Bex's face imposed on the model's body, which Martin eventually discovers. The police become involved as the video is considered an indecent image of a minor, and the photo of Shakil is discovered. Bex takes the blame for it, covering for Alexandra and Madison, who have threatened her. When Martin sees Carmel and Shakil at the school, Martin brand Shakil dirty and threatens violence against him if he ever sees him again. Martin then grounds Bex due to her actions, and refuses to let Carmel see Arthur due to Shakil's behaviour, prompting a fight between him, Kush, Carmel, and Stacey at their house. The police then arrive, and reveal the news that Bex also had topless selfies of herself on her phone, which though she had deleted and not shared, were backed up to the cloud. Martin's phone is also confiscated as a result. Devastated, he insists that Bex will not be allowed to have her phone back and that she is banned from social media. However, Bex soon becomes a victim of bullying at the hands of Alexandra and Madison. Martin soon starts to talk to Bex and reminds her about how being responsible for Jamie's death has made him the person he is now and that she should not let anyone talk negatively about her no matter the situation. Bex starts a relationship with Preston Cooper, Michelle's former teenage student from America, not knowing that Michelle is having a secret relationship with him, which is the main cause of losing contact with her own family. Bex eventually discovers their affair and publicly exposes them. A disgusted Martin disowns Michelle as a result and bans her from his life. Stacey attempts to get Martin and Michelle to reconcile but this fails. Stacey also tells Martin she is pregnant. Sonia arrives back in Walford after Bex phones her in tears due to her bullying and Bex tells her family what has happened with Madison and Alexandra. Sonia tells Martin she wants Bex to live with her, but Bex stays with Martin and Stacey.
During a Walford in Bloom event, a gas leak causes an explosion in the Square and Martin panics when he cannot find Stacey. He attempts to push past a police officer but when they try and hold him back, Martin pushes one over, resulting in him getting arrested just as it is revealed that Stacey is safe. Martin receives a four-week sentence, two weeks of which he must spend in prison. When Stacey visits him in prison, she is horrified to find that Martin has bruises on his torso, as a result of bullying. While Martin is in prison, Stacey discovers that Arthur is at high risk of having Brugada's Syndrome, a heart condition inherited from Kush. This results in Stacey being disorganised and short-tempered. Martin returns home to find Stacey arguing with Carmel after the former has hurt Lily. Martin is worried when Stacey tells him about Arthur's health risk. When he sees what this is doing to Stacey, he confides in Michelle that their unborn baby could be the biggest mistake of their lives. Stacey overhears and angrily tells Martin to leave if he is not able to love Arthur and Lily and their unborn child the same. However, Martin assures Stacey that he will love all their kids equally. Martin, Kush, Carmel and Stacey are agitated when Arthur has to be hospitalised when Bex finds him in a lifeless state. Carmel is alarmed to find that Arthur fainted due to consuming Stacey's bipolar pills. She is horrified to discover that Arthur has bruises on his arm, although this is from other kids yanking him at the hospital. Lily tells Carmel that Stacey caused Arthur's bruises, prompting Carmel to inform Social Services. However, Carmel soon realises her mistake. After an unsuccessful attempt from Carmel at resting the issue, Social Services turn up at Martin and Stacey's house and inform them that Lily and Arthur need to be removed for the night, leaving Martin and Stacey heart-broken. They eventually get Arthur back, but Stacey is enraged when she finds out that Carmel phoned Social Services, and this leads to the premature birth of their daughter, Hope.
When Max is rejected by the community for conning people out of their businesses for the redevelopment of the Square, Stacey is one of the few people that offers him support. She invites him to stay in their house, much to Martin's displeasure. His insecurity leads to him telling Stacey that Max is not welcome in the house. On Christmas Eve, Stacey and Max have sex. When Stacey sees Max's daughters, Lauren Branning and Abi Branning Jr, fall from The Vic roof, she is instantly reminded of her former husband Bradley Branning's death. Martin tries to calm her down, and though he suspects something happened between Stacey and Max, he tells Stacey they should carry on as normal. However, Stacey says that if they do not talk, their relationship cannot survive, so she admits to having sex with Max, later explaining that she did so as she and Martin never have time for themselves and she is left to manage the house. Martin refuses to talk to Stacey about it so it does not ruin Christmas for their children and that he will not accept blame for her actions, saying she should leave if it is going to destroy their family. However, Martin later decides to make up with Stacey after speaking to Ted Murray, but finds the house empty and a goodbye note from Stacey, saying she is leaving Walford with Lily, Arthur and Hope to stay with her mother Jean Walters. A dejected Martin ends up spending New Year's Eve alone in his house and the next day, confronts Max about sleeping with Stacey but declines to punch him, saying revenge doesn't help. However, Martin later punches Max but admits that he still doesn't feel right about it and that he only did it for Carmel, whom Max also used and slept with. Stacey returns a few weeks later and when Stacey is out, Martin accuses her of being with Max when it turns out she is not with Whitney. Stacey and Martin argue and when Martin suggests Stacey was with Max due to Abi's death, she slaps him. Stacey thinks the marriage is broken and tells Martin he should move out, accusing him of hurting her; he is hurt Stacey does not regard Lily and Arthur as his children, but he angrily throws her out and exposes her affair with Max. Martin keeps the children inside, away from Stacey, though the pair support each other briefly when Lily holds Hope by the upstairs window, asking for Stacey. Martin rejects Stacey when she says the children need her and he decides he will not let Stacey near the children. Martin decides to go for custody and when Kush finds out, he urges Stacey and Martin to resolve their problems, but he has a turn. Martin meets with Stacey to attempt to fix their marriage, but Martin decides to give up, but offers Stacey contact and Stacey contacts Ryan to help her, however she decides to call Whitney and asking her help. Whitney lets Stacey into the house and a locksmith changes the locks, devastating Martin. Martin is not happy when Stacey seemingly changes her mind about Martin looking after the children for the night, but he refuses to look after Hope when Stacey offers as he suspects she will see Max. A woman named Hayley Slater takes photos of Martin and Stacey and her neighbour Arshad Ahmed stops Stacey from taking her children to Brighton when she argues with Martin, but Martin finds out from Jean that Stacey had not planned to go to Brighton. Martin and Stacey take Arthur out to see a show to sort out access and Martin is annoyed that Stacey has invited Kush, deciding that it has to be that way and Martin decides to file for divorce, despite Kush figuring out that Stacey may have enjoyed herself with Martin without his presence. Stacey arranges a childcare rota as an apology to Martin, but after sending an email to his solicitor to file for divorce, Martin attempts to delete his solicitor's email to Stacey, but Stacey seemingly accepts his apology, though later she contacts someone and decides to involve her solicitor. Stacey is devastated when Mo Harris returns to Walford with the news Kat is dead and Martin sets up a crowdfunding page for Kat's funeral as Stacey cannot afford it. Stacey thanks Martin and kisses him, which then turns to passion between them.