Inside EastEnders’ Butcher family from Janine to Frank

Programme Name: EastEnders - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: 22/12/2011 - Picture Shows: Pat over the years. 1989 - Frank and Pat at the car lot Frank butcher (MIKE REID), Pat Evans (PAM ST CLEMENT) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Various

NOT every soap family gets to become iconic – but the Butchers have certainly earned that title.

The EastEnders family made its debut back in 1988 and members are still managing to cause drama on Albert Square to this day.

The Butchers are an iconic soap family

But who are the members of the Butcher family? Here’s everything you need to know.

Frank Butcher

Frank Butcher was played by Mike Reid

Frank was the head of the Butcher family and played by the late Mike Reid from 1987 to 2005.

Frank was a used-car salesman and thought he was a ‘big player’ in the world of business.

Before moving to Walford, he was married to wife June and had four children; Clare, Diane, Ricky, and Janine.

However, June died in 1987 and Frank soon starts pestering Pat to rekindle the love affair they have had on and off since 1958.

The couple soon make a formidable pair on Albert Square, taking over the tenancy of the Queen Vic, as well as Frank opening a car lot.

Frank and Pat married in 1989 with Pat becoming step-mum to Frank’s four children, as well as having two kids of her own.

In 1993, the family ended up in financial ruin, and prompted Frank to get Phil Mitchell to set fire to the car lot so he could claim on the insurance.

However, the men didn’t realise a homeless man was asleep in one the cars and died in the blaze, with Frank subsequently arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

Unable to cope with the guilt, a depressed Frank left his family and the Square without warning in 1994.

When he eventually returned on Christmas Day in 1995, he was devastated to find Pat had moved on with Roy Evans.

The pair eventually slept together before Frank told Roy, who furiously threatened to leave Pat.

However, she convinced him that Frank was lying, before telling her ex she no longer loved him, prompting him to leave again and move to Manchester.

Frank then returned on various occasions, and during one visit, fell for Peggy Mitchell.

The pair soon became engaged and Frank moved into the Vic with Peggy, and they married in 1999.

Peggy’s son Grant opposed to wedding, after Frank accidentally knocked down and killed his wife Tiffany months earlier.

However, marital bliss didn’t last long, as Frank’s feelings for Pat soon returned, and during a holiday in Spain, the former couple slept together.

They carried on their affair for several months, before Peggy infamously exposed them in front of everyone at the Vic before giving them both a slap.

Then in 2002, Peggy received word that Frank had died in a car crash, but when she flew to Spain to attend his funeral, she found him alive and well.

He revealed he had faked his death to con expatriates in a property scam with his new partner, before she in turn scammed him and took all his money.

Frank’s last appearance in EastEnders was in 2005 when he returned during Janine’s murder trial.

He once again reunited with Pat, and told her he would always love her.

His death was revealed in 2008, with his children Diane and Ricky telling how he had died of throat cancer at Diane’s home in France.

Pat Butcher

Pat was an icon of the Square

She is an Albert Square legend who has had more than her fair share of ups and downs on the BBC soap.

Pat Butcher was played by the iconic Pam St. Clement and loved to don a sparkly pair of dangling earrings wherever she went.

She lived an extremely colourful life and became one of EastEnders’ longest-running characters after appearing for 25 years and six months on the programme.

She made her debut on the 12th of June 1986.

Before her arrival in Walford, she was married to Pete Beale between 1961 and 1966 and later, Brian Wicks between 1966 and 1989.

She was also a mother-of-two, with her sons believed to be her children with Brian.

However, in true soap form, it appeared that each of Pat’s husband’s had fathered a child with her.

Pete was actually the father of David Wicks whilst Brian the dad to Simon.

However, Pat’s biggest love was Frank and she was delighted when they reunited in 1989 and moved into The Vic together.

Just a few years later and facing potential financial ruin, Pat sets up a new venture, a taxi firm called PatCabs, however it quickly went drastically wrong.

On Christmas Eve, Pat did a short taxi run for a regular customer but she ended up knocking down a teenage girl who later died from injuries caused by Pat’s car’s impact.

At the scene, Pat is breathalysed where she is confirmed to be just over the limit having already enjoyed a tipple before setting off.

Pat struggled to cope with the guilt and is left aghast at her behaviour following a confrontation from the girl’s mother.

She was later sentenced to six months behind bars for her actions.

After Frank later moves on, Pat begins a romance with new man Roy Evans.

She is somewhat relieved when Roy tells her of his impotency as she is pleased she is with someone who isn’t after sex.

In 1996, despite Frank being back on the scene and her feelings for him looming, she marries Roy.

Although happy with Roy, she never stopped loving Frank and they begin an affair four years later.

Roy later discovers her affair and despite attempting to work through it, he later throws her out, leaving her penniless and without a place to stay.

Months later, after Pat reveals her intention to move to New Zealand, Roy forgives her and asks her to stay with him, which she does.

Pat is later left heartbroken when Roy dies during a difficult time for the pair when he discovers that she knew her step-son had embarked on an illicit affair with Roy’s son’s wife.

He then suffers a fatal heart attack and his son, Barry, furious over what Pet knew, kicks her out and cuts her out of his dad’s estate.

When step-daughter Janine later kills Barry, Pat is forced to implicate her in his murder trial.

Pat is forced to give testimony in court and is surprised to see Frank there.

The pair later sleep with one another again when Frank attempts to get Pat to change her statements for Janine’s trial but later confesses his love.

Pat suffered a period of ill health during 2010 when she had a heart attack and was later forced to get a pacemaker in order to regulate her heart beat.

Despite things looking positive, just over a year later, she is rushed to hospital after collapsing on the floor.

Doctors find some concerns but she secretly discharges herself and insists to her family it was a one-off abnormality.

However, as the perils of family life continue, her stress goes through the roof and she experiences even more horrific chest pains.

Choosing to see the doctor once again, she is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

She soon discovers it has already vastly spread around most of her body and she is forced to look at end-of-life care there and then but she refuses to do so.

Pat died on New Year’s Day 2012 surrounded by all her loved ones past and present and dies peacefully after healing all her old rifts.

Clare Butcher

Clare avoided drama at all costs

Clare Butcher is the sister of Ricky, Janine and Diane.

She only appeared for two brief stints in Walford – one in 1989 played by Lucy Foxell and then again in 2002 played by Caroline O’Neill.

Although married with kids, her husband and children have never been seen and are rarely mentioned.

She appeared at Pat and Frank’s wedding where she brought along Janine, whom she had been raising.

She later returns in 2002 to help out Janine after realising how much her life has crumbled from drugs to prostitution.

Clare sets Janine up with some money to allow her to get back on her feet.

In 2022, it is revealed that Clare and her family have been living in Australia since at least 2008.

Janine visited her during this time after covering up a car crash involving Linda Carter.

Diane Butcher

Diane was a hapless Butcher kid

Diane was another one of Frank’s four kids and was played by popular actress Sophie Lawrence.

She appeared regularly between 1988 and 1991 as well as for a short number of weeks in 1993, 1994, 1997, 2008 and 2012.

Diane is known to be a free-spirit who takes life as it comes.

She is a rebellious Walford teenager and often received disapproval from her father – including striking up a romance with their lodger, Paul Priestly.

However, Paul had a wondering eye and left Diane heartbroken when he left without saying goodbye in 1989.

With her family forgetting her 16th birthday, Diane rebels once again and hangs out drinking on the streets of inner-city London.

She does a nude photoshoot for money which is later made into a statue by a sculpture maker.

Eventually returning home, she begins an ill-fated romance with HIV-positive Mark Fowler.

However, Mark is more concentrated on his ex and Diane soon heads on a summer holiday to France only to never return.

Two years later, she returns to tell her father of her pregnancy but confesses that she does not know who the father is.

She later has a son named Jacques, whom Clare looks after for a while as Diane struggles with being a parent.

11 years after last being in the East End, she arrives for her father’s funeral and announces she has settled down with a woman, whom she had been dating for the last three years.

She last appeared for Janine’s wedding in 2012, where she confirmed she was still in the same relationship and was happy living in France.

Janine Butcher

Janine – the most evil of them all

One of EastEnders most notorious villains, Janine Butcher has seen and done it all.

Most famously played by Charlie Brooks, she has appeared for a series of stints between 1989 and 2023.

Janine has had five marriages during her time on the show.

She married Barry Evans whom she later killed by pushing him off a cliff in 2004.

Janine then married a man named David before marrying Ryan Malloy, Michael Moon and Mick Carter.

A truly evil human, Janine’s life has mostly revolved around conflict and chaos.

She was wrongfully charged for the death of Laura Beale which saw her leave the soap for the first time before she later re-appeared forging a wedding to an old man in a bid to get his cash.

He dies upon realising her false identity, Judith Bernstein.

She kills again, albeit accidentally, when she mows down Danielle Jones in her car.

Not one to stop there, she kills another husband Michael Moon when she stabs him and results in a third departure.

Janine was last scene attempting to be the top dog by becoming landlady at the pub after marrying Mick Carter.

She had manipulated a separation between him and Linda in order to get close to him.

She then fell pregnant but was left widowed when a car accident she indirectly caused leads to Mick being lost at sea.

Ricky Butcher

Ricky last appeared at the start of the year

Ricky Butcher was introduced as a young school boy in 1988 and was played by Sid Owen

He stuck around in Walford for 12 years before quitting in 2000.

He re-appeared two years later only to be axed by BBC bosses in 2004.

Ricky later appeared from 2008-2012 before enjoying a guest stint over the Christmas and New Year period of 2022.

He landed a job with Phil and Grant Mitchell as a talented young mechanic and later falls for their younger sister, Sam.

When Sam decided she wants to get married at 16, she and Ricky run off to Gretna Green to elope.

Two years later, Sam realised that she is bored in the marriage and chooses to leave Ricky.

This then set the cheeky chap up for his most famous romance to date, with Bianca Jackson.

The pair begin dating in August 1994 and it is on and off right from the very start.

Sadly for the couple, they endured heartbreak in 1997 when they were forced to terminate a pregnancy as a result of complications.

However, Bianca fell pregnant quickly thereafter and they have son, Liam, on Christmas Day 1998.

Ricky is left devastated when he discovers that Bianca has had an affair and he quite the Square in search of a new life in Manchester in 2000.

He later returns to help out his sister two years later and begins an affair with his step-mum’s new husband’s son’s wife, Natalie.

Ricky later begins a fully-fledged romance with Natalie but it quickly cools off after Janine spites the pair.

He then disowns Janine as a result of her murdering Natalie’s husband, Barry, and he leaves London once again in early 2004.

In 2008, Ricky discovered that his is actually the biological father of Tiffany as a result of his and Bianca’s one-night-stand in 2002.

Most recently, Ricky was seen on-screen attempting to convince Sam to move to Germany with him to begin a new life together and reignite their spark.

Although telling him yes, Sam later admits she cannot go as she has her young son to think about.

Bianca Jackson

Bianca is a Walford legend

Bianca fell into the Butcher family as a result of her marriage to Ricky.

She is played by the legendary Patsy Palmer.

Bianca is known for shouting her catchphrase, “Rickaaaaaaay!” at husband Ricky in times of temper and annoyance.

Her two failed marriages to Ricky consumed most of her time on the show.

She shockingly had an affair with her mother, Carol’s partner Dan which resulted in their first divorce.

Bianca is mother to sons Liam and Morgan as well as daughters Tiffany and Natasha and is the adoptive mum of Whitney Dean, her former partner’s daughter.

Many of her connections lie with the show’s Jackson family.

Her half-brothers are Robbie and Billie Jackson as well as Joe Wicks and she has a half-sister in both Sonia Fowler and Karen Wicks.

She even spreads across to the Branning family as a result of her grandparents, Jim and Reenie Branning.

Bianca has found herself related to most of the Square at one point or another.

Liam Butcher

Liam found himself in with the wrong crowd

Liam is the son of Bianca and Ricky.

Between 2008 and 2015, the youngster turned teen was played by James Forde before Alfie Deegan took over the role for a short stint in 2021.

One of his most famous storylines include him being caught up in an inner-city gang in 2012.

As part of the gang, he mugged Tamwar Masood and later stole all his money from him, something Bianca later discovered.

After finding him hanging round on an estate, his mum brings him home and locks him in his room but he later manages to escape at night in order to continue getting up to no good.

After a fracas with the gang, Liam is later stabbed and sent to hospital.

He is forced to flee Walford after fearing the gang were coming for him and another furious confrontation, only re-appearing for the their later trial.

Liam is last seen in 2021 where he schemes to breakdown the romance of sister Tiffany and her husband Keegan.

He also lies about his life – telling his family he is running a garage in Germany but he is in fact penniless.

Tiffany Butcher-Baker

Tiffant was one of the most famous child stars

Played by Maisie Smith, Tiffany was just a child when she first appeared on the show and became known for her one-liners and comedic timing as well as her frizzy ginger hair, making her arguably the most famous child star on the show at the time.

She is the daughter of Ricky and Bianca but was originally believed the be the child of a man named Nathan Dean.

After taking a break from the show between 2014 and 2018, a late teenage Tiffany ran wild on Albert Square.

She enjoyed a romance and later marriage to Keegan Baker that was not without its woes.

Tiffany also found herself caught up in the world of drugs as well as being horrifically groomed by Evie Steele.

Her drug-fulled relationship with Jagger also consumed much of her time on the show before she eventually fell back into the arms of her true love, Keegan.

She quit the show in 2022, when she and Keegan departed together to live a happily married life away from the horrors that lie in Walford.

Scarlett Butcher

Scarlett is Janine’s daughter

Scarlett Butcher is the daughter of Micheal Moon and Janine Butcher.

The character, played by Tabitha Byron, was only seen on-screen as a baby until she returned in 2021 alongside her mother.

She had little to do with the remaining Moon members on the Square and was instead shown to still have a turbulent relationship with her mother.

Scarlett stayed at The Vic where Janine had married landlord Mick Carter.

The character was written out of the soap once again when Janine actress Charlie Brooks quit the show for the fourth time and she made her final appearance on the 27th January 2023.