A long-time Albert Square resident, Pat married four times, to Pete Beale (father of David), Brian Wicks (father of Simon), Frank Butcher and Roy Evans. She has 4 grandchildren: Bianca, Joe, Karen and Steven.
Stephanie Watson - Hit by a car which was being driven by Pat.
Pat's earring collection was the envy of womankind. She ploughed through a veritable herd of husbands and lovers and was a first-class survivor.
Since her pre-Walford days as gangster's moll to underworld kingpin Johnny Allen, Pat worked her way through the men of East London - husbands, lovers, even paying customers. But Frank Butcher was the love of her life.
Pat's arch rival over the years was Peggy Mitchell – they fought for Frank’s attention, but their animosity softened, finally disappearing during a bout of drunk and disorderly behaviour behind the wheel of an ice cream van in a hospital car park.
In Albert Square, if Pat wasn't related to you, she'd be up in your business. If you were homeless, she'd take you in (and mix you a Pink Lady at her cocktail bar). As far as Walford was concerned, if you had Pat on your side, you were made.
She was the (diamonte-studded, gold plated) jewel in Walford’s crown. When she died in 2012, all of Walford turned out to mourn the death of a true Walford icon. The End of an Earring.
Pat was born in Walford on 28th December 1942, the youngest of four children, to Lydia Harris and her husband, who worked at Dagenham. Pat's sister Joan had Down's syndrome, and was sent to a mental institute when Pat was four. Joan married Michael who also had Down's. Ashamed, Lydia disowned Joan and claimed she had died at the age of 22.
After leaving school at 15, Pat unsuccessfully tried to become a model. She and her best friend, Mo Porter, entered a beauty contest in Clacton in the summer of 1958 at the age of 16, winning the title of 'Miss Butlins'. There she met 18 year old Frank Butcher, who was holidaying with his girlfriend, June Simmonds, who were also from the same London borough Pat was from. Frank was besotted with Pat, and they slept together. Frank was the first of what would be many lovers in Pat's life, and so began a love affair; however, June became pregnant with Frank's child, so Frank married her, breaking Pat's heart. Pat and Frank would meet up from time to time, and on each occasion the affair would be rekindled, but Frank would not leave June. Pat began working for the shady club owner, Tony Cattani, who got her involved in prostitution. This shamed her family, particularly her brother Jimmy and their relationship suffered. When Pat discovered that Jimmy's wife and her best friend, Mo, had slept with Tony, she informed her brother; Mo denied it, and Jimmy subsequently disowned Pat. Whilst working as a prostitute, Pat was offered more money to work for up-and-coming gangster Johnny Allen. Pat then worked as a well known woman of the underworld for many years.
Pat embarked on numerous relationships. She had flings with Den Watts and Kenny Beale — both restless men, unwilling to settle down with her. Kenny's younger brother Pete proved more reliable; he married Pat in the early 1960s, when he thought she was pregnant with his child — a false alarm, which Pete's mother Lou (Anna Wing) believed was Pat's ploy to trap her son. Pete and Pat married in 1961 when she was 18 and he was just 16. While they were together, Pat had a son, David in April 1962 who was Pete's. In November 1963 Pat was away at a weekend in Southend with a man when she heard President Kennedy was shot in America. Pat said the man was just a friend. On the 28th December 1963, her 21st birthday, Pat was helping one of Johnny Allen's prostitutes have a back street abortion. Pat cheated on Pete in October 1964. She slept with Den Watts and Brian Wicks as well as Kenny. In July 1965 Pat had a son Simon Wicks. Pete believed he was the father but the real father could have been Kenny, Brian or Den also. Pete had enough of Pat and eventually left her and they divorced in 1966. Soon after, Pat married Brian and he took on responsibility of her two sons. Brian adopted them, although Simon could have been Brian's real son. They left Walford in 1976 due to David's feud with fellow schoolboy Derek Branning who terrorised the entire family because David got his sister, Carol pregnant. They moved several miles away to Romford for a quieter life and Pat stayed with Brian until 1986, when he started physically abusing her.
1986-2012: Life in Walford
Pat comes to Walford in June 1986, to tell Pete that he is not Simon's father. Many arguments erupt, but Lou is quick to step in and she convinces a devastated Pete that Simon is his. Later in the year however, when Pat starts work as barmaid in The Queen Vic, it emerges that Lou thinks Simon is the product of an affair Pat had with Kenny. Lou is adamant that Pat should keep this secret and not upset her close-knit family. However, Pete's sister Pauline overhears and tells Pete everything.
Pat lives up to her promiscuous reputation and, with encouragement from Mehmet Osman, ends the year prostituting herself. Animosity between Pat and Pete continues. When Pat is assaulted in February 1987 — left unconscious and close to death in the middle of the Square — Pete is prime suspect in the police investigation. He is later cleared when the real culprit, the Walford attacker, is caught.
The arrival of Kenny Beale in 1988 brings the question of Simon's parentage to the fore once again. Pat informs Simon and the Beale brothers that she does not know which of them is the real father, adding further confusion. She also says that Den Watts is a possibility. Pat later rules Den out, but demands that he sleep with her, or she will tell people that he is the father. In July that year, a dying Lou pleads with Pat to finally come clean to Simon. Pat reveals that Brian Wicks, the man that Simon had believed to be his stepfather, is actually his biological father. Following Lou's death, Pat forms a close friendship with her former foe, Kathy Beale, Pete's second wife. Both find they had a common bond, with the dominance of Lou and Pete in their lives.
Frank comes back into Pat's life in 1987. June has died and he and Pat reunite, taking over tenancy of The Queen Vic public house. Pat struggles as stepmother to Frank's children, particularly Janine, who hates Pat. On 22 June 1989, Pat and Frank marry in cockney style, driving out of Albert Square in a horse-drawn cart. By the end of the year, the Butchers have moved from The Vic to the B&B across the Square, which Pat runs while Frank opens a used car-lot. Despite family and marital problems, Frank and Pat are happy until 1992, when they begin to struggle financially, forcing them to sell the B&B. Pat tries to turn their fortunes around by starting her own cab firm, Pat Cabs. However, disaster strikes on Christmas Eve that year, when Pat — whilst doing a short run for a regular customer — hits a teenage girl with her car. When breathalysed, she is found to be just over the limit. On New Year's Eve, Pat is devastated when the girl dies in hospital from her injuries and finds it hard to cope with the guilt, particularly when she is confronted by the girl's grieving mother. When Pat appears in court, she is given a 6-month prison sentence. In the autumn Pat returns, but by then the Butchers are in financial ruin. In desperation, Frank persuades Phil Mitchell to torch the car-lot in an insurance scam. Phil feels he owes Frank a favour. When this goes wrong and a homeless boy dies, Frank has a breakdown, and in April 1994, he leaves the Square, abandoning Pat and his children without warning, leaving Pat destitute and heartbroken. Eventually, Frank's daughter Diane brings news that Frank is alive and has merely run away, so Pat begins getting on with her life. In September 1994 she even became friendly with Geoff Barnes, who was dating much younger Michelle Fowler.
Car-dealer Roy Evans is attracted to Pat, but early attempts to woo her get him nothing but refusals. Pat later softens and goes on a cruise with him, although she makes it quite clear that sex is not on offer. Her carnal abstinence turns out to be blessing for Roy, as he later admits he is impotent and can offer nothing more than platonic love. Pat is relieved to discover that, for once, a man wants something from her other than sex. In November 1995, Roy moves in with Pat, but in December Frank Butcher returns to reclaim his wife. Pat finds it hard to contain her rage and emotion upon seeing her estranged husband, but despite him stirring up old feelings, she opts to remain with Roy. Frank leaves Walford again. Roy and Pat marry in November 1996.
In the spring of 1998, Frank moves back to Walford but agrees to be just friends with Pat. Pat and Roy weather money problems, Roy's ill-health and depression, brought on by his jealousy of Pat and Frank's shared past, which almost makes him commit suicide in 1999. Pat finally convinces Roy that it was him she wants, although she finds it hard to let go of Frank completely. In April 1999 Frank goes on to marry Peggy Mitchell, Pat's friend, but he begins to have second thoughts in 2000 after realising that he still loves Pat. Whilst the Butchers and the Evanses are holidaying in Spain, Frank seduces Pat and they sleep together. Pat tries to end the affair upon their return, but when Frank turns up on her doorstep naked (apart from a comedy bow-tie), she realises that she had never stopped loving him either. Their affair continues and they eventually decide to elope to Manchester.
They are due to depart on Guy Fawkes Night in November 2000, but Pat starts to have second thoughts. It is too late however, as Peggy has already discovered Frank's dear John letter. Peggy shames the cheating duo by reading the letter to the entire pub, and then slaps both Frank and Pat in full view of everyone. Roy shouts at Pat but soon after is willing to forgive Pat and explains to her that certain things have got to change, but Barry then alerts him to a suitcase containing massage oils, fishnet stockings and a red Basque which Pat had been planning to take with her when she ran away with Frank. Roy is horrified and throws Pat out, leaving her penniless and homeless. Peggy throws Frank out, saying she always knew he was a rotter, but allows him to pack his stuff and he leaves Walford that night without Pat. She had seen him drive off and called out but as it was raining, he did not see her, leaving her crying in the square alone. The effigy of Frank used for Guy Fawkes night is burned. Pat stays with Ian Beale and does jobs for him.
Roy later asks Pat for a divorce, but in February 2001 Pat decides to join Simon in New Zealand, and Roy follows her to the airport and tells her that he wants to be with her again, despite objections from his son Barry. Grateful that Roy has given her a second chance, Pat is adamant that she will not mess things up a second time. However, in 2003, Roy discovers that Pat had been covering an affair between Barry's wife, Natalie, and Frank's son, Ricky. Roy believes that Pat has again chosen Frank over him, because she decided to help Frank's offspring over his own. The stress leads to Roy's second and fatal heart attack. Roy dies intestate, leaving Pat bereft and homeless, as Barry — beneficiary of Roy's estate — evicts her.
Pat moves into a grotty bedsit. Janine marries Barry and plans to con him out of all of his money and possessions. The day after the wedding, Janine confesses everything to her new husband, and pushes Barry down a cliff to his death. She later brags about it to a disgusted Pat, whilst in control of the Evanses' former house and business. Janine starts to bully Pat's friend Laura Beale, and when Laura accidentally falls down the stairs and dies, Janine is arrested on suspicion of murder. Pat, Janine's only alibi, lies to the police, implicating Janine as revenge for Barry's killing. Pat is given a job at the bookies by gangster Andy Hunter in 2004. They develop a rapport with each other, and when Andy is murdered in 2005, Pat is stunned to discover that he has left her his house in his will. Pat is summoned to be a witness for the prosecution at Janine's trial in December 2005, where she once again meets Frank who has returned after almost five years. Once again, Pat sleeps with Frank, but she soon realises that his primary motive is to convince her to alter her testimony at Janine's trial. Pat refuses, but after a subsequent talk with Laura's mother, Edwina Dunn, Pat realises that Janine being wrongly imprisoned for Laura's death would be an injustice, so she changes her testimony and Janine goes free.
In February 2006, Pat, who is missing the company of a man in her life, begins flirting with Patrick Trueman. Despite being married, Patrick can't resist the opportunity of a casual fling with Pat. However, they are seen together by Stacey Slater who informs Patrick's wife Yolande, which ends the affair and ignites a feud between Pat and Yolande.
In August 2007, Pat discovers her mother lied about the date of her sister Joan's death. She and a kindly stranger, Len Harker, break into Joan's care home and eventually discover that Joan died only a few years earlier after marrying a man with Down's. Pat is touched to discover that Joan had often spoken of how much she loved her. In March 2008, Pat announces she is leaving Walford for Spain. However, she then receives news that Frank has died of cancer. She is devastated, and despite initial feuding, she and Peggy manage to support each other through Frank's funeral. Pat opts to remain in Walford when her granddaughter Bianca Jackson turns to her for help soon after, moving her four children in. Having reconciled with one grandchild, Pat severs her bond with another, when she discovers Steven Beale is hiding the whereabouts of his runaway sister, Lucy. Pat threatens to tell the truth to Lucy's father Ian (Adam Woodyatt) and is hit by Roxy Mitchell's car whilst trying to apprehend Steven. She spends time in hospital, where Steven attempts to smother her to death before she can tell Ian the truth. His plan fails, and Lucy returns to Ian.
Pat suffers a heart attack in January 2010 amidst increasing animosity with her stepdaughter Janine. It is revealed that she has an underlying condition, and requires a pacemaker but refuses to have the operation. Janine manages to persuade Pat to have the pacemaker fitted and makes a full recovery. Disgusted with the litter in Albert Square, Peggy and Pat both decide to run for council. They are interviewed by journalist Harvey Freeman but eventually they both pull out of the election. Harvey secretly woos them both, causing various rows between the women when they find out. They both finally unite against Harvey and humiliate him in punishment. Pat and Peggy's friendship strengthens, so Pat is hurt when Peggy leaves Walford without saying goodbye, upset to lose her best friend. When Pat discovers that Janine stabbed herself in order to frame Stacey after making the discovery that she killed Archie Mitchell, she disowns Janine and goes to New Zealand to visit Simon. She returns in April to find that Bianca is in prison and Whitney is missing, although she is relieved when Whitney returns home shortly after.
When Pat discovers Janine's grandmother, Lydia Simmonds, is staying with Janine, she believes that Janine is only interested in Lydia's inheritance and Janine jokingly admits this to Pat, although a close bond soon forms between Janine and Lydia. When Lydia dies in the night, Pat comforts Janine but later turns on her, believing that she killed Lydia to get her money, despite the fact Janine had already seen the will and knew that Lydia was donating her money to charity. When the police take Janine in for questioning over Lydia's death, Janine believes Pat phoned them, although it is later revealed that it was Ryan. Pat is still adamant that Janine murdered Lydia, which causes an emotional argument. When it is discovered that Lydia has changed her will and leaves her whole estate to Janine, Pat persuades Lydia's son Norman to contest the will. He initially agrees to do this, but after Janine agrees to share the money with Ricky, Pat convinces him to change his mind. Although Norman likes Pat and wants to see her again, Pat is oblivious to this.
When Pat discovers that her son, Simon, is going to lose his home in New Zealand, she fails to get a loan to help him because of her age. Norman offers to help and organises a loan for her. After speaking to her great grandson Liam, Pat decides she likes Norman and they kiss, she also asks him to stay. However, the next day Norman tells Patrick that he regularly earns commission for organising loans for people. Patrick then warns Pat about this, and once Pat finds out that the terms of the loan mean if she misses a payment she could lose her house, she rejects Norman, tells him to leave and says she never wants to see him again. Derek arrives in Walford and recognises Pat. She runs away, but he chases her and forces his way into her home. Pat is fearful of Derek, and he taunts her, asking Pat if she is still a prostitute. Derek also tells her to tell David that he has not forgotten about their fight. When Roxy asks Pat about Derek's past, Pat confirms that he is dangerous. Pat struggles to keep up the loan repayments on her house, and counts on Ricky's bonus money to cover the debt. When Ricky returns from Dubai, he reveals that he has lost all his money, so Pat explains that they will lose the house by the end of the week if a payment is not made. A desperate Pat turns to Janine and asks for money. Janine gives her £50,000 without hesitation, but insists on Pat using the house as collateral, although this does not thaw the animosity between the pair. When Janine's boyfriend Michael Moon spots Derek and Liam together, he forms an allegiance with Pat over their hatred of him and they proceed to call his probation officer to check up on him, infuriating Derek. He later confronts Pat, angrily threatening her. Shortly after, Patrick pays Pat a visit and finds her collapsed on her kitchen floor. Pat is admitted to hospital having suffered a pulmonary embolus and the doctors run some tests but she discharges herself secretly, telling Ricky she has been allowed to go. Shortly after, Janine goes to see Pat, telling her she is moving the repayment deadline to the following day after an argument with Bianca. Pat rings Simon to find out whether he can pay her the money but is shocked when he tells her his brother David slept with his wife. As her stress increases, Pat's chest pains continue and Patrick persuades her to return to the hospital. There, she is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has metastasised to her lungs, bones and abdomen. Pat refuses all further palliative treatment and returns to Walford to be with her loved ones, sharing one last drink with her family and friends in The Queen Vic.
Death and legacy
On New Year's Day 2012, Pat's health rapidly deteriorates and she is visited by old friends and enemies, including Derek, who taunts her about dying, Dot Branning and Ian. Janine arrives to evict the family after Pat is unable to pay all her debts back but soon realises that Pat is not faking her illness and is devastated. Visiting her sick stepmother, Janine confesses to Pat that she is pregnant and Pat convinces her to keep the baby, before they finally reconcile. Later, David arrives to see Pat but the pair argue and David leaves, David is persuaded to return by Carol. David tells Pat that he is sorry for the mess he has made of things over the years. David then tells Pat that he forgives her for all the times she let him down when he was a young child. Pat tells David that she is scared moments before she dies. Everybody on the square mourns for Pat the next day, and Norman comes back with a bunch of flowers for her, not knowing that she has already died. Pat's funeral, which is paid for by Janine, takes place and is attended by many Albert Square residents. Simon turns up after the funeral has ended with flowers and lays them down at her grave.
In September 2013, Peggy returns and visits Pat's house to say goodbye. In late 2013, Janine and David visit Pat's grave and lay flowers, and David apologises for treating her the way he did. In May 2014, Dean Wicks returns to Walford and is devastated when he hears that Pat has died. He later lays flowers on her doorstep and apologises for not being there when she passed away.
In 2016, Peggy Mitchell begins to hallucinate that Pat is in her home and they reminisce about their shared past. Peggy asks her to never leave her and Pat promises this, as Peggy takes a fatal overdose of her medication.
Behind the Scenes
- The character of Pat was conceived by the creators of EastEnders, Tony Holland and Julia Smith, in 1984. Although not one of the serial's original protagonists, Pat is referred to in the character outline of Pete Beale, who appeared on-screen in EastEnders' first episode.
- Pat was first seen on-screen in June 1986, over a year after the show debuted. The character's introduction was the result of a deliberate policy "to add an extra edge of toughness to the show." Prior to this point, Holland and Smith had begun to feel that EastEnders was starting to get "a bit soft". During a meeting with scriptwriters, the programme makers decided to try to recapture some of the soap's "original grittiness that seemed to be getting lost in its own success". Thus the character of Pat was introduced to "add a new hardness to the atmosphere."
- Pat, played by actress Pam St Clement, was initially introduced on a three-episode trial basis. She was given an extensive backstory, heavily intertwined with various focal characters within the serial, including all of the Beale and Fowler family who mostly disliked her, particularly her ex-husband Pete Beale (Peter Dean), her son Simon Wicks (Nick Berry), and Pete's mother Lou Beale (Anna Wing). In addition, she was an old friend of Angie Watts (Anita Dobson), a former lover of Angie's husband Den (Leslie Grantham) and, as a supposed former resident of Walford, she was known to many of the other regular characters such as Dot Cotton (June Brown) and Ethel Skinner (Gretchen Franklin).
- The character's initial three-episode stint marked the beginning of what has been described as one of the soap's most complicated storylines, the paternity of Simon Wicks. Pat immediately "threw a spanner in the works" by telling Pete that he was not Simon's biological father, as she had previously claimed. After causing havoc Pat then disappeared; however, she was reintroduced later in the year, returning as a regular character, barmaid of The Queen Victoria public house.
You think Frank wants YOU - mutton dressed as lamb?" (to Peggy Butcher)
"You've turned so many men against each other, you deserve a lifetime achievement award! In fact, they should re-name this pub 'The Slapper Kat'!" (to Kat Moon)
"Oh Phillip, are you going to ground us?" (to Phil Mitchell while drunk in the ice cream van with Peggy)
"No sweetheart, not for one single second." (Last line, to Peggy)