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"Just a minute!".
~ Eddie's last words before he gets stabbed to death by Nick Cotton.

Eddie Royle is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running soap opera EastEnders. He appeared as the main antagonist in 1990 and 1991 before later serving as the posthumous overarching antagonist in 1992 and 1993.

He was portrayed by Michael Melia.


Eddie Royle is a retired bent copper who first appeared in Walford around 1990 as the new landlord of the borough's public house called The Queen Victoria.

Almost immediately, Eddie harboured a crush on barmaid Sharon Watts and was not too bothered that her adopted father Den Watts had seemingly died a year ago after the latter got into trouble with Walford's criminal organization The Firm and their gangland boss Jack Dalton. However, he became unhappy when Sharon fell in love with hardman Grant Mitchell and quickly became enemies with him as time went on.

In 1991, Shaorn rejects Eddie's advances and tells Grant about it. This causes Grant to confront Eddie and brutally attack him. Eddie retaliates by reporting Grant and his brother Phil Mitchell to the police about their criminal activities. When Sharon backs up the Mitchell Brothers, however, Eddie gives her an ultimatum - Grant or her job at The Vic. She chooses Grant and in response Eddie sacks her.

It is at this point where Eddie has antagonized not just Sharon and the Mitchell Brothers, but most of the square as well due to his dodgy dealings. At one point he attempts to persuade local boxer Clyde Tavernier to drop his next fight, but Clyde refuses and dismisses Eddie for attempting to forge a partnership between them. Sharon's best-friend Michelle Fowler, who is also Clyde's girlfriend, is equally appalled to learn what Eddie had tried to do and resents him as well. Michelle's father Arthur Fowler, his brother Pete Beale, and their friend Frank Butcher all express their hatred towards Eddie as well. Pete's wife Kathy also despises Eddie for making a comment about her rape ordeal from her former boss James Willmott-Brown back in 1989.

On night on September 1991, Eddie is taking Sharon's dog Roly for a walk and comes across an incident - which ends with Eddie being stabbed to death by an unknown assailant. The follow-up of Eddie's death sees local resident Dot Cotton discover his body, and the police soon investigate his murder to the stage where both Grant and Clyde are implicated as the prime suspects; however, it is eventually revealed that Dot's notorious son Nick Cotton is the killer.

Nick is eventually exposed as Eddie's killer and trailed for the crime, but ends up being found not guilty and released without caution.



  • Eddie Royle has made a total of 104 appearances throughout his duration on the show.
  • He is one of the few antagonists not to cause any physical harm to others.