We wondered where EastEnders was going with Dean Wicks’ obsession with Linda Carter – and now we know: Dean is going to rape Linda.
“This story rips into the heart of the Carter family,” reveals EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins. “It will change lives forever, testing Mick [Danny Dyer] and Linda’s marriage and exposing some very dark secrets as we move from autumn through to Christmas and beyond.
“EastEnders has a history of telling important human stories that have the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives,” adds Dominic. “We have been working closely with Rape Crisis to tell the story which encourages women who have been in a similar situation to Linda to speak out.
“Kellie Bright [Linda] and Matt Di Angelo [Dean] both give such brave, raw and intelligent performances.”
Kellie said: “I feel honoured to be given the responsibility of raising awareness of such an important issue. To be entrusted with this storyline, which will not only highlight the issue but also educate against many myths surrounding rape, is a privilege. The statistics that I have learnt from researching this subject matter are so shocking that I hope by EastEnders tackling this storyline, it will help make small progressive steps towards changing people’s perceptions of what rape is.”
Speaking about Dean’s involvement, Matt revealed: “This is an extremely challenging storyline to play, but an incredibly important story to tell. Kellie and I have been lucky enough to have the support of everyone at EastEnders and Rape Crisis have been extremely helpful with our research.”
EastEnders has a history of tackling social issues and rape is one of these. Since the show started in 1985, the issue has been tackled numerous times including Kathy Beale’s attack by Willmott Brown and Trevor Morgan’s attack on his wife, Little Mo.
EastEnders has been working closely alongside Rape Crisis Rape Crisis on the upcoming storyline, which will also see Linda having to come to terms with what has happened to her following the attack – from a member of her own family.
This storyline will not only tackle the issue of rape, but also the importance of how vital it is to speak out – something which Rape Crisis is keen to highlight.
“It is important that these stories are told within dramas to start to change the public narrative around rape which heavily blames survivors,” says Fiona Elvines, Operations Co-ordinator of Rape Crisis, South London. “Equally, given the fact that each year 85,000 women and girls and almost 10,000 men are raped in this country, the subject needs to be approached factually and empathically, with a motivation not to entertain but to inform.
“The team at EastEnders, from producers and researchers, to writers and actors, have demonstrated a commitment to getting the balance right, working closely with us to create a story that tells some of the truths of sexual violence. We hope this commitment shows through and that anyone watching the show who feels they want to talk about their own experiences feels able to call the National Rape Crisis Helpline.”
You can get more information on the Rape Crisis website: www.rapecrisis.org.uk, or by calling: 0808 802 9999.
EastEnders continues on BBC1, Monday, September 1, 8.00pm.