EastEnders Wiki

NOTE: Please do not add spoilers as this is a spoiler-free Wiki and it is intrusive to our readers who may not have seen the episodes released early on IPlayer or do not read spoilers. Repeated intentional offences of this rule could lead to a ban, Many thanks the EastEnders Wiki admin team.


EastEnders Wiki
EastEnders Wiki

Vanessa Carlton made her first appearance 15 July 1997. She is portrayed by Adele Salem.


A con-artist who presents herself as professional business woman who works for a property development company. Vanessa arrives at Deals on Wheels because she is looking for a reliable company like Evans Executive Cars to drive her company's clients round various commercial properties. Vanessa says she would like to speak to the owner who is Barry Evans, who is not present, but is telephoned by Robbie Jackson, to come to Deals on Wheels, as the only others present are Huw Edwards and Lenny Wallace. All three are trying to chat up Vanessa, but she is immediately wise to this and is not interested. When Barry arrives, he and Vanessa go over to The Queen Victoria for lunch to discuss potential business. Vanessa is most interested in the fact that Barry runs two businesses, (Deals on Wheels and Manor Wood), as Barry's father Roy Evans, has recently gone into semi-retirement and has handed the day to day running of the businesses over to Barry. She also seems interested that there is a lot of money involved in the businesses. Vanessa tells Barry that she has come to Evans Executive Cars as she has heard of their good reputation through one of her clients. Vanessa seems impressed and tells Barry that Evans Executive Cars has won the contract she is offering. A romance quickly develops between Vanessa and Barry. Vanessa is shown to be smart, intelligent, bi-lingual, classy and sophisticated and as such Vanessa appears to be out of Barry's league. Barry himself is aware of this and initially feels insecure around her, but his confidence eventually begins to grow. This helped by continued encouragement from Vanessa. Barry for his part cannot believe his luck that someone like himself has a partner that is someone like Vanessa and moves swiftly in terms of the romance.

Having known Vanessa for a little over two weeks, Barry declares his love for Vanessa, which Vanessa duly reciprocates. Barry then in a roundabout way suggests that he would like to sleep with Vanessa, but Vanessa tells him she would prefer to wait. Barry immediately follows this by saying that if she wants, he is prepared to wait until their wedding night. Vanessa is amazed that Barry is seriously suggesting they get married, which Barry says he wasn't serious about, but is if Vanessa is interested. Vanessa says she is interested in getting married. Shortly after this Barry tells Roy that he and Vanessa are planning on getting married. Roy is stunned as he is not even met Vanessa as he keeps missing Vanessa every time she turns up at the Vic. Roy warns Barry not to move too fast and to be careful with regard to how well he actually knows Vanessa. However, Barry is sure that Vanessa is the woman for him. Vanessa later visits Barry at Deals on Wheels and accepts Barry's marriage proposal. Vanessa finally gets to meet Roy and his wife, Pat Evans, at a dinner party that Roy is holding for a few friends at his house. Barry is invited brings Vanessa along as Roy has also invited Vanessa. Roy seems pleased to meet Vanessa, Pat less so, but this is probably because she has had a rather fraught day trying to organise the dinner party. The next day or so Barry and Vanessa discuss wedding plans in the Vic. Barry wants to do things properly and have "a big in your face wedding" and have a honeymoon in the South of France. Vanessa resists this as she says she wants to be with Barry now. Shortly after Barry and Vanessa announce to Pat and Roy that the wedding date is set for 1st November, which is only ten weeks or so away. Pat and Roy are supportive of the decision, especially Pat who has really taken to Vanessa. However, Roy although happy for Barry, is concerned that things are still moving too fast and is still urging Barry to be cautious and goes so far as to ask if Barry has met Vanessa's family yet. Barry is tiring of his Dad's wanting to tread carefully and tells Roy to "give it a rest". The following day Vanessa arranges to meet Barry in the Vic. Roy asks Barry if he and Pat can meet Vanessa in the Vic as they would like the chance to get to know her better. In the Vic Vanessa and Roy have a conversation where Vanessa quizzes Roy about how he started in business and built up his successful "empire" from nothing. Vanessa says she is interested because she is wanting to build something of her own and retire eventually just like Roy .

Roy says it is simply hard graft and take your chances, but says he is equally intrigued by Vanessa's world. Vanessa says that any time Roy wants a tour of her "humble little world", Roy only needs to let know. Roy immediately returns the compliment by saying that he will give Vanessa a tour of Manor Wood sometime. Roy then remembers he is visiting Manor Wood the next day and offers to take Vanessa with him. Vanessa enthusiastically accepts. When the day of the Manor Wood Tour arrives Vanessa has a talk in confidence with Roy. Vanessa says that she feels Barry is still trying to prove himself to his father, because Roy is still to some degree involved in the businesses, especially Manor Wood, as Roy still likes keeping an interest in the place. Vanessa points out that Barry wants to prove himself, but can't because Roy won't relinquish full control and Roy won't relinquish full control until Barry proves himself. On Barry's birthday, Roy hands control of Manor Wood to Barry, surely as a result of Vanessa's conversation with Roy. Vanessa seems equally as thrilled as Barry that Roy has handed over control of Manor Wood to Barry. Just under two weeks after Barry's Birthday, Vanessa and Barry talk about the planning of their wedding. Vanessa tells Barry that she had a deal lined up and was going to use the money from it to fund a really classy honeymoon and it was going to be Vanessa present to Barry. Vanessa says that she is trying to buy a hotel on the South Coast. Vanessa tells Barry she has an investor that can put in 75% and needs to find the other 25% as the other two potential investors she had lined up have both pulled out and now she only has three weeks before her option runs out. Barry is intrigued and asks Vanessa how much she needs and Vanessa tells him that the amount outstanding is £35,000. Barry is amazed when Vanessa says that she feels that the hotel in question is probably worth nine or ten times that amount. Barry seems interested but Vanessa says that the deal is out of Barry's league and advises him to save any money he has for her and any children they may have as a couple in the future. Barry seems surprised that Vanessa is talking about children already. Vanessa says she would like two girls and a boy and has some names lined up. Barry is still thinking about Vanessa's hotel deal. Later Barry discusses the hotel deal with Vanessa saying that £35,000 is not a lot of money and is a drop in the ocean in business these days. Vanessa is sceptical saying that is a lot when you don't have it. Barry suggests getting Roy to invest the £35,000, because Roy can invest the business through Manor Wood, as that business has the collateral. Vanessa refuses on the grounds that she has a golden rule never to invest with friends and family and also Roy is a car dealer. Barry replies that the deal is a business deal and that his father is a good businessman. Vanessa wonders if Roy would even be interested, but Barry says he will be and that Vanessa should show Roy some figures and let Roy make a decision. Barry eventually presents the proposition and figures regarding the hotel deal to Roy, who is intrigued enough to take a look and says that it is not really their sort of thing, but he will think about it. Sometime later Barry meets Roy and Roy says he agrees that the hotel deal is a sound proposition, but he doesn't want to do anything. Roy then says he doesn't want to do anything about it because he wants Barry to do it. Roy says that he thinks it's great that Barry has found something sound to put money into and wants Barry to do the deal, as Roy says it would unfair if he himself did the deal. Roy says he is proud of Barry for showing initiative and tells to do the deal and start earning the money. With Roy's praise and endorsement ringing in his ears Barry rings Vanessa, but doesn't let on what Roy has decided, but tells her that he will let her know Roy's decision when they have a drink in their hands, but that the drink should be champagne. Barry and Vanessa soon after set off to meet Vanessa's other investor in the hotel deal who is a gentleman in the city named Joseph Marks. When Barry meets Marks, Barry says he is keen to invest if they can agree the right terms. Marks asked Barry what line of business Barry is in. Barry explains he runs the car lot and that he in charge of Manor Wood now his Father has retired. Vanessa also chips in saying that Manor Wood is doing very well, when Marks asks how the business is doing. Vanessa goes on to say that Barry also runs Evans Cars, which Barry points out is an Executive Car Service. Vanessa backs Barry again by saying that the car service has a good list of clients which are top companies. Despite this Marks is concerned that Barry is not the right sort of businessman for the hotel deal because he prefers his clients to come from the city end of the business community. Marks explains that this is because the hotel developer, a Mr Roberts, is old fashioned in that he uses no contracts, does everything on a handshake and prefers cash and Marks is concerned that Mr Roberts will not see the world of cabs and second hand cars as quite the right one for investors in the hotel. Marks confides in Barry and Vanessa that Mr Roberts is a bot of a snob. Barry is affronted by this attitude and almost walks out. Vanessa makes a last ditch defence of Barry to Marks telling Marks that Marks is making a mistake letting Barry walk out and Vanessa will not recommend Marks to anymore of her associates. Marks re-evaluates the situation and tells Barry that they appear to got off on the wrong foot and suggests they all have a drink. Later Barry and Vanessa return to The Vic in the mood for celebration having come to a deal with Marks. Barry is revelling in the fact that everything seems to be going right for him and that in a few days time he will be a major investor in a prestigious hotel. Vanessa is still a little reluctant as the deal has not been concluded and as £35,000 is a lot of money tells Barry he can still pull out if he is not sure. Barry replies that he is sure and will not miss out on a golden opportunity and points out that if he did pull out Vanessa would lose her commission as well as the faith of Marks who would not listen to her again. As completion of the hotel deal approaches Roy expresses concern to Barry that he doesn't understand why such a big shot like Marks insists on cash. Barry tells Roy to stop worrying as it is down to Mr Roberts the developer who is a bit old fashioned. Roy asks Barry if he is sure that the deal is in place. Barry tells Roy that he has arranged it all with the bank and all Barry has to do is collect the money and go and deliver it. On the day that the Hotel Deal is to be finalised and signed, Barry is found by Roy in the office of the car lot gloating over the £35,000. As Barry puts the money in the safe, Roy invites Barry and Vanessa out for lunch, but Barry declines on the basis that he doesn't think he can make it because the hotel deal has to be signed by 4:00pm that day or the whole deal is off and there is a lot of travelling involved and Barry says that he will be cutting it fine as it is. Roy persists and invites Barry and Vanessa for a quick drink instead, as Pat wants to sort out the arrangements for the wedding that is now only a month away. Barry agrees and says they can tell Pat about the hotel deal at the same time, as she doesn't know about it. Roy who wants to tell Pat himself says they should wait until the whole thing is sorted. Barry is somewhat crestfallen as well as annoyed and is convinced his Dad doesn't think he can pull the deal off. Roy reassures Barry that he has absolute faith in Barry and knows he can pull it off. Later Vanessa meets Barry in the car lot office and tells him that she has arranged to meet Mr Roberts at 3:30pm. Barry is pleased as that means they have a drink in The Vic with Roy and Pat. Vanessa worries they will be late, but Barry promises they won't be. When Roy, Pat, Barry and Vanessa are having drinks at The Vic, Roy tells Vanessa about life was like for himself and Barry after Barry's Mother died. Roy says that for years all he did was build up the business, out early, back late and did not have time for relationships. Vanessa points out that Barry seems to followed in his father's footsteps which Roy agrees with and sings Vanessa's praises by saying that she has turned Barry round and is the best thing that has ever happened to Barry. Vanessa seems embarrassed by this, but Roy declares that it is the truth. Soon after Barry and Vanessa are about to leave when Vanessa gets a phone call. Vanessa then has a private word with Barry and is in a state of shock. It turns out Marks is stuck in Frankfurt which is a stop over from Nairobi. As a result Marks will miss the 4:00pm deadline meaning the deal is off. Barry asks if they can phone Mr Roberts and explain the situation and ask for more time, but Vanessa says that Mr Roberts would not agree to this and they will miss the deadline and lose the hotel deal. Barry asks if Marks can wire his bank and have the bank give Vanessa the cash. Vanessa says that for that to happen Marks has to be there in person. Running out of ideas Barry asks how much more money they need. Vanessa says it is everything they have and the amount needed is £105,000. Barry suggests that he put all the money up himself, via Manor Wood. Barry says he can clear out the Accounts and borrow £80,000 against Manor Wood. The following day Marks gets his £105,000 out of his bank gives to Barry who puts back into Manor Wood and no one is the wiser. Vanessa says this is too risky, but Barry says business is all about taking risks and that he and Vanessa should take that risk. Vanessa asks if they should ask Roy first. Barry considers for a moment and then decides that as he is in charge now he will do as he likes. Barry and Vanessa arrive at Barry's bank and Barry goes in to see the Bank Manager. Barry returns having obtained the additional £105,000 in cash, meaning that he now has the full £140,000 in cash for the hotel deal in his possession. Vanessa is amazed and asks Barry how he did it. Barry explains that he explained their situation to the Manager who said he would not help. Barry had then told the Manager that if he did not let Barry have the money, he (Barry) would be forced to close all his account with the bank. At this point according to Barry, the Manager was throwing money at him. Vanessa says Barry is a genius . Barry says he wouldn't go that far, but is feeling smug and is clearly very pleased with himself. Barry asks what happens now and Vanessa says they need to split up. Barry is surprised, but Vanessa points out that Marks' plane arrives at 4:30pm, but she has to hand over the money to Mr Roberts at 4:00pm and she does not have time to do both. Barry questions why Marks can't make his own way into town seeing as how it was Marks' who messed Barry and Vanessa about,; but Vanessa points out that they have to keep Marks' sweet and they don't want Marks' to drop out. Barry seems to understand this and says he will pick Marks up. Vanessa offers to do this but Barry says that Mr. Roberts knows Vanessa but does not know him and if Barry meets Mr Roberts on his own, Mr Roberts may thing something dodgy is going on. Vanessa concedes this point and gives Barry Marks' flight number and says that soon as she has delivered the money to Mr Roberts she will head back to The Vic for a celebratory drink. Barry asks Vanessa to give him a call as soon as the Deal is done, because he won't relax until he gets Vanessa's phone call. Vanessa says she will phone Barry as he wants. Vanessa then takes the briefcase full of money, hails a taxi and then departs. Barry next arrives at the airport where Marks' flight is expected. Upon arriving he realises to his frustration that he does not have his mobile phone. He had accidentally left it behind in The Vic. Roy had retrieved it and chased after Barry, but Barry had driven off to the bank with Vanessa before Roy could catch him. Barry checks the boards for flight arrivals and is unable to find Marks' flight, so he asks an airport attendant. Barry gives the attendant the flight number of Marks' flight that Vanessa has provided. The attendant checks and tells Barry that there is no flight with that flight number due in. Barry persists and is adamant that the flight is due, but the attendant is equally persistent and tells Barry that there is nothing from Nairobi on a Thursday and there never is. Barry is now starting to get worried as he is realising that something isn't quite right. Barry tries to call Vanessa on an airport payphone but cannot get through to her mobile number. Barry next arrives at a petrol station and tries to use the payphone there, but is unable to do so as someone else is already using it. Barry arrives back at The Vic and asks Tiffany Mitchell if Vanessa has been and Tiffany tells him that Vanessa hasn't been in all night. Roy who is play darts with Pat meets Barry and returns Barry's mobile to him. Barry asks Roy if he has had any calls and if any have been from Vanessa. Roy says he has plenty of calls, but none have been from Vanessa. Barry is still in a state although he trying to keep it from Roy and asks Roy if he is sure Vanessa hasn't phoned. Roy confirms that he is sure Vanessa hasn't phoned. Barry makes to leave. Roy is suspicious and asks Barry if everything went okay. Barry tells Roy that everything went just fine, but Roy is still wary. Barry runs straight over to the car lot office and checks the answer machine for messages, but there aren't any. In desperation, Barry rings Vanessa's mobile phone. Vanessa is shown to be at the airport and answers her mobile phone, but does not speak. Barry asks if it is Vanessa on the other end of the phone, but Vanessa stonily faced and emotionless switches her phone off and snaps it shut. Vanessa then heads through a departure gate, with the briefcase containing the £140,000 in cash and in her other hand an airline ticket. Barry calls down the now dead phoneline for Vanessa and is left the dawning realisation that he has in fact been conned out of what is his father's fortune. The police later tell Barry that Vanessa and Marks are a husband and wife team who have been doing this scam for this years.

List of appearances[]


  1. 15 July 1997
  2. 21 July 1997
  3. 22 July 1997
  4. 29 July 1997
  5. 31 July 1997
  6. 5 August 1997
  7. 7 August 1997
  8. 11 August 1997
  9. 12 August 1997
  10. 14 August 1997
  11. 25 August 1997
  12. 1 September 1997
  13. 9 September 1997
  14. 11 September 1997
  15. 15 September 1997
  16. 29 September 1997
  17. 2 October 1997