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Come here and say that!
~ Dennis confronting his enemies.
Don't ever tell me what to do, you don't even know me!
~ Dennis being confronted by Phil Mitchell in the Queen Vic,
Den Watts wasn't just her old man...he was mine too! He was my father!
~ Dennis to Jack Dalton after taking him into Epping Forrest to kill him for getting Phil Mitchell to try and murder him, though not before Dennis reveals to Dalton that he is the son of Den Watts - whom Dalton had previously arranged to be murdered 14 years ago.
Dennis: You're evil! You're supposed to be my father!
Den: Well at least somebody wanted you...which is more than I ever did!
~ Dennis defining conversation with his father Den Watts after him insinuating his childhood past.

Dennis Rickman is a fictional character from BBC British TV soap drama EastEnders. He became one of the shows central protagonists until he was killed off from the show and became the posthumous catalyst in the "Get Johnny Week" storyline. He was the long-lost son to Den Watts, son to Paula Rickman, husband to adoptive sister Sharon Watts and the father of late Dennis "Denny" Rickman Jr.

Dennis played a huge pivotal role on the show and was one of the main protagonists in 2003-2005 and the posthumous protagonist in 2006.

He was played by English actor Nigel Harman, who makes his first appearance in mid 2003 to late 2005.



Dennis Rickman, born on August 28th 1974 was the son of Paula Rickman, who got pregnant by Den Watts who had an affair during that time, knowing Dennis was a product of a one night stand. It has been shockingly revealed that Dennis was brought up in a children's home and got sexually abused as a little kid by a caregiver and also took alot of beatings from a successor of his mother Paula's boyfriends.

2003 - 2006

During his arrival in Albert Square, Dennis has arrived to his own mother's funeral who passed away from an unknown cause and meets his own adoptive sister Sharon Watts and his biological sister Vicki Fowler, while serving time in prison.

After being released from prison for GBH, Dennis spends quality time at the Vic, where he is confronted by hardman Phil Mitchell. They argue before Dennis then ends up knocks out the latter with one punch, which sends Phil into towards a table - breaking it and rendering Phil unconscious.

Dennis has been working with his fearsome gangland boss Jack Dalton, leader of the square's organized crime family known as "The Firm", and looked up to him as a father figure. It soon transpired that Dennis had been taken under Dalton's wing at the age of 16, which turns to be exactly a year since Dalton had arranged for Dennis' real father Den Watts to be murdered. It is also revealed that Dalton is the reason why Dennis served time in prison - for doing a criminal job and serving an 18 year prison sentence without mentioning Dalton's involvement.

At somepoint, Dennis meets up with his old friend Tony Jamison and decides to help clear his debt by demanding £20,000 from Dalton for serving his prison sentence for him - threatening to inform the police otherwise. Dalton is unfazed at first until Dennis makes it clear that he won't stop until that happens. Dalton does give Dennis the £20,000, but then decides to have Dennis killed and summons Phil to do the hit.

Phil later confronts Dennis at gunpoint and prepares to kill when Dennis offers a proposition - Dennis will kill Dalton so that both he and Phil can be free from their gangland boss. Phil relents and Dennis takes the gun to confront Dalton, before forcing him to go into Epping Forrest. Thereupon Dennis argues with Dalton about their past, with Dalton pointing out that he took Dennis in when his foster parents weren't interested and his mother passed away. Dalton dares Dennis to kill him, to which Dennis is unable to at first. Dalton then begins taking about Den and, not knowing that Dennis is Den's son, admits to orchestrating the events behind Den's "murder". Dennis then reveals to Dalton that he is Den's long-lost son before shooting and killing him, all the while Phil hears the conversation on Dennis mobile phone - with the latter unaware of this.

After Dalton's murder, his second-in-command and arrogant mobster Andy Hunter takes charge of The Firm. It turns out that Dennis and Andy are close friends back when Dalton was alive, but Andy nonetheless investigates Dalton's murder and suspects Phil or Dennis to have killed him. Phil tells Andy that Dennis killed Dalton. Later on, Andy tells Dennis this but allows him to live; Dennis confronts Phil for grassing to Andy and a feud ensues between them.

Soon afterwards, Dennis is shocked when Den Watts himself returns to the square and reunites with Sharon -who is shocked and devastated to the point where she rushes to the women's restrooms, vomiting in a toilet. Den doesn't know Dennis is his long-lost son during this time until Sharon admits it later on. Dennis would have a conversation with Den face-to-face about the latter's background life at a club in midnight with nobody else around.

Dennis and Den later work together to get Phil out of the picture for having Dennis beaten up and slapping Sharon in front of everyone in the pub; Den's additional motive is that he intents to retake his status as the square's undisputed "top dog", which Phil has managed to establish his position has ever since he first arrived a year after Den's supposed murder. Dennis collaborates with Den's plan to set-up Phil for armed robbery. Phil is arrested by the police, but later escapes and plans to kill Den in revenge. Dennis walks in on their showdown and Phil punches him for knocking him out when they first met, but Den breaks up the confrontation by offering Phil £200,000 for him to escape the country; Phil relents and escapes before the police could arrest him again, all the while Den and Dennis celebrate their victory over him.

In 2004, though, the father and son rivalry continues to go on after Dennis confesses to Den that he is in love with his adoptive daughter Sharon. Den, however does not accept this as they have a confrontation at the Vic. Dennis starts taunting Den with comebacks, angering him and starts throwing Dennis across the room until being intervened by Phil's sister Sam Mitchell and the pub's manager Alfie Moon to break up the fight.

Den continues to belittle his son Dennis, insinuating him about how he was sexually molested at a children's home, making Dennis broken inside. Den waves at him, causing Dennis to rush at him, pushing everybody out of his way and puts his hands on Den, ready to rough him up but is hold back by other guys in the pub, Den continues to smile at him. Sharon shows up trying to stop Dennis's violent outburst with Vicki until he accidentally punches her. Just as Sharon, Den and Vicki leave the pub, Dennis silently breaks down in guilt until Dot Cotton takes care of him who's wanting to take him home. Den, sincerely apologizes to Dennis about making fun of his traumatic past saying that he regret it.

Sharon tells Dennis if he wants to go to America with her. He finds out that his girlfriend Zoe Slater is pregnant, which makes Sharon to leave America on her own. After Sharon's departure, Dennis is shocked to find Zoe caught naked and having sex with his father Den Watts. Dennis storms off in anger.

Zoe tries to makeup with Dennis, saying that Den told her to lie for him. Dennis keeps getting harassed by Zoe about wanting another baby with him, Dennis slaps her ending his relationship with Zoe and confronts his father Den that he destroyed so many people closed to him and tells Den he hates him, before leaving and not seeing his face ever again. Sharon returns back from America and slaps Dennis about falling for lies from Zoe. They later makeup afterwards about Dennis not knowing Zoe was lying about being pregnant.

Before leaving the square on a temporarily hiatus, though, Dennis informs Den's wife Chrissie Watts about the extent of his father's deceit - thereby exposing his adulterous nature to her and provoking Chrissie to plan on getting revenge on Den. Her plans comes to fruition when she teams up with Sam and Zoe to confront Den in the Queen Victoria Pub. They all have words against each other about Den cheating on Chrissie by having a baby with Zoe, who would later abort it in retribution. Sharon, shows up out of the dark is disgusted to hear her own father's true colors. She storms off telling Den that she's dead to him, saying her father died a long time ago and that he's buried next to her mother Angie Watts. Den is left defeated and tries to kill Chrissie by lunging her to one of the fruit machines back in the Vic before getting bludgeoned at the back of his head with a doorstep by Zoe. She is shocked by hitting Den and runs outside to go get help. Den wakes up again, grabbing Chrissie's leg while saying his last words "You'll never get me out of the Vic!" before getting hit over the head with the doorstep again by Chrissie, finally killing him.

After the death of Den Watts who was killed by Chrissie in the Queen Vic at midnight, Dennis and Sharon both get married. As they arrive back to the square in a car, they find bystanders and the police standing in front of the Vic who sees Sam walking out of the pub, arrested for criminal damage by digging up Den's body at the back of the pub. Sam sees Chrissie while she's in a police car taken to the police station. At Den's funeral at a cemetery, Dennis tears up over the latter's death bearing that he always wanted a father figure around, he spots Peggy Mitchell running after Chrissie who was about to make a speech at Den's grave calling her a "Murderer!" and slaps her in the face falling onto Den's casket while panicking.

Peggy later tries to warn Sharon and Dennis about Chrissie by constantly telling them that she killed their father. Sharon disbelieves Peggy while Dennis discovers this to be true months later. Then Phil returns with his brother Grant Mitchell to help Peggy and Sam against Chrissie. The brothers try to warn Sharon before later fighting with Dennis when Grant confronts Chrissie in the Vic and tackles Dennis to a piano. Dennis and Grant begin to clash over Sharon. But they call a truce after Sharon learns that the Mitchells were telling the truth about Chrissie killing Den and they all work together to exonerate Sam and have Chrissie arrested for murder. Chrissie's boyfriend Jake Moon tries to help Chrissie escape while everyone else works to bring her to justice. They are eventually successful after Dennis convinces Stacey Slater to change her alibi that Chrissie wasn't with her when Den died. Zoe's mother Kat Slater tries to stop this in order to avoid letting Zoe go to prison. But Stacey changes her statement and Chrissie is jailed for Den's murder. Then Dennis and Sharon help the Mitchell regain ownership of the pub and they all call a truce before Grant takes leave for Portugal.

On Christmas Day 2005, Sharon believes to have food poisoning but finds out that she is pregnant with Dennis. It is then Dennis and Phil start to get along better and the two end up having a feud with the square's reigning crime boss Johnny Allen. This later results in Johnny threatening Sharon in his office and he gives her a choice to leave with Dennis, otherwise the kid grows up without a father. Phil later learns about what Johnny did to Sharon and decides to tell Dennis about it in order to get one over Johnny before the end of the year. Sharon asks Phil not to tell Dennis. But Phil changes his mind when he learns about the couple planning to leave and tells Dennis he needs to tell him something. Phil tells Dennis that Johnny killed Andy on the night Den died in an attempt to get him to take vengeance. Dennis refuses until Phil grabs his throat and tells him about the way how Johnny attacked Sharon. Dennis confronts Johnny in his office and starts attacking him, beating Johnny almost to death. Dennis throws the mobile phone near to him and tells Johnny if you can reach that phone, he will live. However, Johnny calls up a henchman to take out Dennis in retaliation.

When New Year's Day begins, Sharon tells Phil about Dennis's whereabouts. Phil, stating that he doesn't know where he is. Sharon finds Dennis from a long distance at the Queen Vic just before the fireworks start. As the countdown begins for New Year, Dennis is bumped into an unknown person wearing a hoodie and is shown to be stabbed in the chest, showing blood as he falls into Sharon's arms. He puts his hands on Sharon's womb feelings the baby until he says his last words "We did it!", Dennis is shown to be dead. Sharon breaks down in tears over his death while the fireworks go-off as people were celebrating rushes to the murder scene.

It is later revealed that Johnny ordered Jake's brother Danny Moon to kill Dennis. Thereafter Phil summons Grant to try and bring Johnny to justice for Dennis' murder. This ends with Jake killing Danny to stop him from killing the Mitchell Brothers while Johnny is forced by his daughter Ruby Allen to turn himself in the police for the murders of Dennis and Andy after she learns the truth about Dennis. Months later Johnny dies of a heart attack caused by Stacey's brother Sean Slater, thereby avenging Dennis' murder in the process.

In 2014 Phil finally tells Sharon his role in Dennis death. She forgives him after he adopts her and Dennis' young son Denny Mitchell, before later on going on to marry Phil in early October that same year.

In 2020, Denny dies as a result of Phil and his son Ben Mitchell trying to get revenge on their former employee Keanu Taylor for sleeping with Sharon. At Denny's funeral, Sharon brings up Dennis' murder when confronting Phil on the people he took away from her.


I know I am and you came in between me and her once before and it ain't going to happen again because this really matters to me! And you played a blinder, Den. You really all your little bullets lined up and they're the right ones, proves you've been listening, paying attention. WELL DONE! Gold-star! But now, you've got nothing left, so step down!
~ Dennis Rickman gives his estranged father Den Watts a great comeback against him in the Queen Victoria Pub
Dennis: How do you sleep at night?
Den: Like a baby...What, you gonna hit me too, why don't you just save that for the ladies.
Dennis: You have destroyed everyone you've ever cared about...I hate you.
~ Dennis's final words to his father Den Watts, angered by discovering him having sex with his girlfriend Zoe Slater
We did it...
~ Dennis's last words to Sharon after getting stabbed by Danny Moon on New Year's Day
Take your hands off me, Den. I ain't gonna rock with ya! Besides, I'm half your age and you're far too knackered
~ Dennis taunting Den before getting thrown across the other room
Yeah, look like a Landlord.
~ Dennis' conversation with his love rival Phil Mitchell in the Queen Victoria Pub before knocking him out unconscious
Dennis: I've been hearing about you all my life. My mother was always banging on about you Lashed or sober, you were the number one subject in our house. Must've meant more to her than it did to you. So it's a rutt against starry-eyed.
Den: Well, she was very young.
Dennis: Yes, she was!
Den: But you got your Gran and Grandad?
Dennis: What, your mates? They didn't want nothing to do with it, kicked her out.
Den: So, she brought you up on her own?
Dennis: Well, she didn't bring me up with anybody else...I didn't live with her, you know!
Den: It must've been difficult.
Dennis: Whatever. It's all in the past, isn't it? All done and dusted.
~ Dennis talking to his estranged father Den Watts about his troubled past with his mother Paula Rickman



  • Nigel Harman (the actor who plays Dennis Rickman) was nominated and shortlisted for several awards at multiple British Soap Award ceremonies.