EastEnders Theo star was hired for just a few episodes before huge villain role

EastEnders star William Ellis revealed he was only meant to star on the BBC soap for a small amount of time.

The actor made his debut as Theo Hawthorne in April 2023 and the teacher struck up a friendship with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), providing free tutor lessons for her heavily-pregnant daughter Lily (Lilia Turner). But Theo's dark side was quickly exposed when he was revealed as Stacey's secret cam client and his infatuation with her began spiralling out of control.

But despite carving himself out as the soap's newest villain, Theo was only meant to be on screen for a handful of episodes. Speaking previously at the Inside Soap Awards, William exclusively told Daily Star: "I was initially cast on the premise that it would be for a handful of episodes and then very quickly, almost before I'd even started, Chris made a decision about where he wanted it to go based on what he thought I would bring to Theo.

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"That's a testament to Chris on how well he's steered the ship and how much EastEnders is being talked about now. He knows exactly what he wants and where it's going. It's been a real joy and a privilege to join the show at the right time."

Earlier this year, Theo began stalking Stacey and even moved into the house next door in a bid to get close to her. Things took a dangerous turn in early October when Theo broke into Stacey's house and attempted to rape her.

When Freddie Slater (Bobby Brazier) stumbled across Theo's attempted assault, he began violently attacking the teacher with an iron and left him unconscious. Theo managed to survive the attack but when he woke up, gave a contradicting statement to Freddie's.

After the dramatic scenes aired, William thanked fans for their support and gushed over his co-stars. "Can I just come on here and say a massive thank you to everyone for your overwhelming messages of support for this week on EastEnders, the really, really tricky stuff that we shot," he said in an Instagram video.

"It's so lovely to see you all so invested in it." The actor continued: "It wasn't easy this week and it was my privilege to be able to work with the likes of Lacey Turner and Bobby Brazier, who are just outstanding, they're smashing it out of the park at the moment.

"It's a real honour to be part of the show, especially when it's in the place it's in at the moment. It's absolutely fizzing and that's thanks to the great writing and Chris [Clenshaw] at the top steering the ship. So thank you all and I'll see you soon."

It's been more than one month since Theo's assault on Stacey and fans have voiced confusion as there has been no mention of the storyline since it was aired. Sharing their thoughts online, one viewer wrote: "It’s annoying me that the Stacey/Theo storyline has just been completely dropped for weeks."

A second added: "I’m confused what happened to Theo?? Every single episode was about him now nothing." Another fan agreed: "Just a minute. Have they forgotten about Theo in the hospital who was supposed to have come out of his coma…maybe he's fallen back into one waiting for his storyline to reignite."

While a fourth penned: "What’s happened to Theo? Freddie knocked him out, he went to hospital, and has never been seen again? Presumably he must be back at some point?"

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