EASTENDERS viewers are predicting abusive Gray Atkins will murder his wife Chantelle in one of the soaps’ darkest ever storylines.
In a departure from the victim of domestic abuse killing their abuser, as happened with Little Mo and Trevor years ago, fans claim it would be a bold move and raise more awareness of domestic violence if the storyline ends with Chantelle’s death.
EastEnders viewers are predicting abusive Gray Atkins will murder his wife Chantelle[/caption]
One fan wrote in an online forum: “The domestic abuse storyline, especially if it ends with Chantelle being killed by Gray – that would be bold and brave of EE so maybe that what is worrying/scaring KO, but I personally think they should go there because it reflect real life domestic abuse cases.”
Another posted: “I also believe they should be bold and have Chantelle die at the hands of her abusive husband.”
As a third shared: “That’s why it would be more powerful because the majority of the viewers like sweet and gorgeous Chantelle and it would have a massive reaction if she were to die at the hands of her abuser. It needs to reflect reality as well and deaths due to domestic abuse are on the rise.”
However, soap boss Kate Oates has said Gray could still be redeemed, hinting at a different scenario altogether.
Evil Gray Atkins has a lot of redeemable qualities, Kate Oates has said[/caption]
Gray – who is played by actor Toby Alexander in the BBC soap – regularly terrorises his wife Chantelle with mental and physical abuse and manipulation to keep her under his control.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, Kate said: “I know there’s been a little bit of conversation about the fact that EastEnders always make their be-suited educated characters villains and it’s so crucial to his character because he works in the law fighting for the little guy.
“That confuses Chantelle because he’s got a social conscience so he’s the opposite of her father who was completely flaky and couldn’t hold down a job as a guy who really does hold down a job.
“Plus the fact that he’s part of this aspirational lifestyle. Gray has got a lot of redeeming qualities.”
Kate added: “Abuse is so often about power. And he enjoys the power that he has over her.
Viewers have been horrified by his abusive behaviour towards wife Chantelle[/caption]
Boss Kate Oates has said the plot will be different to Trevor and Little Mo[/caption]
“And characters can change and they can be redeemed, but I believe in those kind of dynamics that ultimately the victim, in this case,Chantelle, their first job is to look after themselves and if Gray could be redeemed later than that’s up to him.
“If Chantelle was my friend I’d want her out of there and I’d want her to take the kids with her.”
She added: “Chantelle’s problem at the moment is that she’s telling nobody.
“Nobody has a single hint that Gray is like this. So I think in a way, not letting anybody in, anybody at all, she’s actually building higher walls around herself but that’s going to be part of the problem.”
Trevor and Little Mo’s abuse story is one of EastEnders’ most notorious[/caption]
Kate and executive producer Jon Sen have been keen to avoid repeating EastEnders most famous domestic abuse storylines where Little Mo killed her evil husband Trevor with a hot iron after years of abuse.
Speaking about the comparisons, Kate said: “I knew that they would come, but I think that they will be short lived because the characters are so different.
“And where the stories goes is very different and we know where it’s going to go and it’s challenging, but important.
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“I think comparisons with Little Mo in some ways are very flattering because that story was brilliant. It was incredible, it was so well performed, so brave and I can remember really vividly certain elements of that story, which shows what a great story it was as part of classic EastEnders history.
“So in some ways the comparison was flattering but I think that anyone that watches this story unfold will see something very different.”
* EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights on BBC One
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