Edward "Ted" Hills was a character in EastEnders from 24 August 1995 to 12 August 1997. He was the older brother of Kathy Beale. Ted had a bit of a history and was hated by Pauline Fowler for framing her brother Pete Beale in 1965. Ted was played by actor Brian Croucher.
Ted was born in 1945 in Walford to a destitute East End family who lived in a tenement block. He had 3 siblings, one of them was Kathy. His father Dennis was an alcoholic. In the 1960s Ted used to hang around with Gavin Sullivan, Henry Hubbard, Den Watts and Eric Mitchell. Even though Ted knew Eric, his sister Kathy never met Eric, who would one day become Kathy's late father in law. In 1966, Ted once tried to frame his sister Kathy's then boyfriend Pete Beale for robbery. Den Watts banished Ted from Walford when the truth emerged with threats to kill him if he ever returned. Ted later married Irene Carter and they had a son Tony Hills in the 1970s and a daughter Sarah Hills in 1980.
In 1994, Ted's building company was in trouble when a young lad died of injuries while working on a building site. Ted's friend Jimmy Doyle had actually accidentally killed the boy when he warned him off harassing Ted's daughter Sarah. Jimmy hit him and he fell from the scaffolding and died. Ted covered for Jimmy as Jimmy once did time for a crime Ted committed. Ted and his family decided to move to Ted's hometown of Walford, London.
After 30 years away, Ted returns to Walford in 1995 with his children after hearing of Dennis Watts and Pete Beale's deaths. As they are dead, (well Pete was dead, but unbeknown to anyone, Den was in hiding in Spain) Ted is safe to return to the area. His return is not welcomed by Pete's sister, Pauline Fowler, who still blames him for almost ruining her brother's life. Baker, the father of the boy Jimmy killed, follows Ted to Walford and makes threats towards his family. Kathy's husband Phil Mitchell intervenes and informs Baker that Ted is not responsible for the boy's murder as he suspects, but that Jimmy is. Jimmy is beaten by the Bakers and decides to flee Walford so Ted and his family will be safe. Ted purchases a shop on Bridge Street and names it 'Hills' Hardware'; he attempts to get Tony involved, but Tony is largely uninterested.
Ted is strict and overprotective of his family and has a bad temper which gets him into trouble. He struggles when he finds out that his son Tony is bisexual and nearly disowns him, losing many friends in the Square as a result. When his daughter Sarah runs away, he beats Robbie Jackson and puts him in hospital, suspecting that he has raped Sarah. In fact, Sarah had propositioned Robbie and fled Walford in shame after they had sex. Ted's behaviour frequently alienates his children and is his main source of conflict in Walford.
By 1997, Ted's business is floundering; he runs up huge debts and has to close the shop. When he is offered a job on a building project in Dubai, he accepts, leaving Walford and his children who refuse to go with him. He later moves to South Africa, and is joined there by Kathy in 1998.
Ted's friend Gavin Sullivan from Walford, also was living in South Africa and was in contact with Ted. Gavin romanced Kathy and later married her in 2001, much to Phil's chagrin.