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It didn't matter. Because I loved her.... I LOVED HER!! She made me happy and you ruined that, you did! So don't you come bleating to me about damage, because you don't know the half of it!
~ Andy Hunter lecturing to his archnemesis Alfie Moon about how he ruined his wedding to Kat Slater, which Andy blames Alfie for in their final confrontation.

Andy Hunter is a fictional character in the British soap opera EastEnders, appearing from 3 July 2003 to 18 February 2005, during which time he served as the show's main antagonist.

He was a mobsman and formerly the right-hand man of Jack Dalton who assumed control of his criminal organization, The Firm, after Dalton was killed by Andy's longtime friend Dennis Rickman. Andy's storyline revolved around his efforts to establish himself as Albert Sqaure's crime kingpin, as well as his romantic rivalry with Alfie Moon for the love of Kat Slater, until he was eventually usurped and killed by his gangland rival Johnny Allen.

He is portrayed by actor Michael Higgs.

Biography

Andy Hunter first appeared when he met up with Dennis Rickman, his old acquaintance, to discuss him and Dennis' friend Tony Jamison getting £20,000 from their gangland boss Jack Dalton in compensation for them going to prison for 18 months after doing Dalton a favor without ever mentioning his name to the police. Dalton orders Andy to stall Dennis to avoid having to repay him. But this fails when Dennis avoids Dalton's attempt to beat him up that Andy had arranged and Dalton is forced to pay up Dennis. Then Dalton decides to have Dennis killed and Andy is told to summon Dennis' love rival Phil Mitchell to do the hit. But again this fails when Dennis convinces Phil to spare him in exchange for killing Dalton himself so they can be free of it. Dennis would later kill Dalton after ignoring his warnings that both Andy and the police would investigate this matter.

Dalton's murder subsequently prompts Andy to find out what happened. He confronts Dennis and Phil several times and ends up restarting their rivalry after Phil tells Andy that Dennis killed Dalton and then Andy tells Dennis that Phil grassed him up to the mob. Andy then takes over Dalton's empire The Firm and status as the new gangland boss of Albert Square. He soon buys the local bookies and becomes the new owner of the facility. He later confronts Dennis' father Den Watts when the latter returns after Dalton appeared to have him killed 14 years ago for incriminating The Firm behind setting fire to the bar owned by his old rival James Willmott-Brown. When Andy confronts Den, he lets him live and continues to rule the Square. He soon begins a relationship with Kat Slater and the two become engaged. Andy hopes that their marriage will become better than his previous marriage to his former first wife Bev.

But then Andy never married Kat when her colleague Alfie Moon disrupts the ceremony and admits to being in love with Kat. He urges her not to marry Andy and she eventually agrees. Andy is devastated and vows revenge on Alfie. This happens when Alfie owes him money and Kat approaches Andy to request that he stop hassling him. Andy agrees on the condition that Kat sleep with him. Kat initially refuses until Andy threatens to have Alfie killed. This is part of Andy's plan to spitefully ruin their marriage. But this doesn't work when Alfie and Kat persist their love for each other despite the trouble that Andy has caused. Andy soon lets the couple get on with their marriage but his feud with Alfie continues. Kat's daughter Zoe Slater later confronts Andy after learning what he did and she lies to Dennis (her boyfriend) that Andy hit her. This makes Dennis confront and attack Andy until he is forced to explain what happened. The two become close friends afterwards while Den makes an enemy of Andy after the two get involved in a poker game that ends with Andy winning. Den tries to get revenge by putting a scam on the bookies. But Andy discovers this and humiliates Den in The Queen Victoria public house by revealing the poker game in front of Den's adopted daughter Sharon Watts and her sister Vicki Fowler. This causes Den to turn on his friend Pat Evans for warning Andy about the scam. Pat seeks comfort from Andy and he hires her as his secretary in the bookies.

Andy soon begins a relationship with Sam Mitchell and plans to exploit her financial assets ever since Phil was forced to leave the square after Den and Dennis worked together to frame him for armed robbery. They get engaged and are soon married despite the efforts of Sam's cousin Billy Mitchell and crush Minty Peterson to stop the wedding. Minty even attempts to warn Sam's mother Peggy Mitchell about Andy's plan, but Andy claims to Peggy that his intentions for Sam are purely for her goodwill. Peggy believes Andy over Minty and allows Andy and Sam to celebrate their marriage. Andy later has his henchman Eddie and the mob beat up Minty in retaliation for nearly ruining his wedding. He then stays married to Sam for months until she ends up losing all of her financial assets in Christmas 2004 after Den and his wife Chrissie Watts work together to con the Mitchells from everything they own in the Square. After Sam tells Andy about this, he chucks her out of his house and Sam is left homeless and penniless until Minty takes her into his house. They reconcile after Sam tells Minty that he was right about Andy all along.

Andy then employs reformed drug dealer Paul Trueman to work for him. Andy then decides to expand on drug trafficking and sends Paul on a job. At first Paul is successful but he is then arrested and later questioned about Andy. Paul is left with no choice but to betray Andy to the police. But Andy manages to avoid getting arrested and works out that Paul grassed him up. Andy retaliates by ordering Paul to be murdered before Christmas Eve 2004. His body is discovered a month later and Paul's adopted father Patrick learns that Andy was responsible. He confronts Andy and vows to make him pay for Paul's death. Pat later finds out about this and her friendship with Andy quickly ends as he becomes increasingly paranoid over the situation.

Andy later makes an enemy of Alfie's two cousins Jake Moon and Danny Moon. They steal Andy's car in revenge for hearing the trouble he caused to Alfie and his brother Spencer Moon before Danny later attacks Andy and Jake punches him for badmouthing his brother. Andy gets Eddie to investigate their sources and learns that the two work for local mob boss Johnny Allen. Andy summons Johnny to deal with Jake and Danny. But then Johnny begins to usurp Andy's criminal reign on the Square and Andy feels outraged by this. The last straw comes when Johnny offers Andy and Jake to do a job for £5,000 and Andy learns that Johnny will get £750,000. He plans to rip off Johnny and gets Danny to help him out after Jake backs out at the last minute.

Andy orders Ian Beale to make a cake for Johnny on the opening night of his nightclub. Johnny had requested Andy to do the job that night and unbeknownst to them Den gets killed that night by his wife Chrissie Watts. The job begins successfully for Andy and he ditches Danny to take all the profits for himself before leaving with Eddie, but not before Alfie confronts Andy for everything he has done around in the Square. They fight and Andy states that he wanted to kill Alfie for ruining his wedding to Kat and that Andy had truly loved Kat from his heart. Andy nearly makes it out of the Square until Eddie stops and claims that he needs to go to a toilet. But it turns out that Eddie has been helping Johnny when the latter and Jake confront Andy in his car. Andy reluctantly goes with Johnny for a "conversation" and is offered a handshake. Andy takes it but then Johnny suddenly chucks him off a motorway bridge and Andy falls to his death.

The following day Andy's death becomes news to the Square and the police declare his demise to be a suicide. Johnny then takeovers Andy's reign as the Square's new crime boss while Sam and Pat are summoned to Andy's will reading. Pat gets his house and Sam is left with nothing but his wedding ring, which Andy had stated that his wife could "sell it, get her roots, and still be the dumbest blonde I ever know". Dennis is given the bookies and he learns what happened to Andy months after his funeral. Johnny would later have Danny murder Dennis killed after the latter learns the truth about Andy and attacks Johnny in revenge for it. After Jake kills Danny to stop him from killing Phil and his brother Grant Mitchell for bringing Johnny to justice for Dennis' murder, Johnny's daughter Ruby Allen learns about her father's crimes that include Andy's murder and she orders him to turn himself in the police. Johnny does so and confesses to killing Andy and Dennis along with his other crimes that get him sentenced to life imprisonment. Andy's death would ultimately be avenged months later when Johnny dies of a heart attack in prison that was caused by Ruby's boyfriend Sean Slater. Since then all remains of Andy's legacy around the Square has become extinct for good.

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Trivia

  • Michael Higgs (the actor who played Andy Hunter) was nominated at the 2004 British Soap Awards for "Villain of the Year", but lost out to actress Charlie Brooks who played fellow EastEnders villain Janine Butcher.
  • Andy Hunter is one of the few EastEnders villains to be killed-off in the same episode where another antagonist also gets killed-off as well;
    • Den Watts died in the same episode as Andy's death of the 20th anniversary special dated 18th February 2005; Andy was killed by his gangland successor Johnny Allen, whilst Den got murdered by his wife Chrissie Watts.
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