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"So far, it has been you against me, Chantelle, and that is not right!".
~ Gray Atkins to his wife Chantelle while domestically abusing her and before he kills her after their marriage breakdown.

Gray Atkins is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders.

He serves as the main antagonist in 2019-2021. He also served as a deuteragonist in Whitney storyline between September 2019 to September 2020. His main story begun in July 2019 where he domestically abused and later kills his wife Chantelle Atkins, before going on to form a relationship with established character Whitney Dean, during which he ends up killing both her relative Tina Carter in 2020 and later her boyfriend Kush Kazemi in 2021.

He is portrayed by actor Toby Alexander Smith.

Biography

Sometime before he first came in Walford, Gray Atkins became a professional solicitor who married Chantelle and they had two kids. It was then Gray began to domestically abuse his wife Chantelle. This continues when they came into Walford, where it turns out that the reason behind Grey's abusive nature was because of his upbringing; he was frequently subjected to abuse from his father, who also abused Gray's mother. However it was later revealed in September 2021 that all of this was a lie and that he was the one who actually abused his mother and that he has anger issues since he was a kid.

When Chantelle learns about this, Gray tells her he regret the way she has been treated by him and wants to get help to control his own outbursts. But then Gray ends up continuing his abuse towards Chantelle, at one point raping her, when their marriage begins to have a breakdown. This mostly comes in Gray's romantic friendship with local resident Whitney Dean, and a softer side was even shown to Grey when he helps Whitney's case after she gets arrested for killing her stalker Leo King in self-defense - as Leo was the son of the late Tony King, a paedophile who groomed and abused Whitney for three years ever since she was 12.

Eventually, Gray's mistreatment towards Chantelle comes to a tragic climax when he ends up killing her just as she gains the courage to leave him. Gray is questioned by the police afterwards, but he covers Chantelle's death by making it appear that she had an accident from one of their children's toy cars - thus implicating his own children behind their mother's demise.

Later in the year, Gray gets into a quarrel with Whitney's relative Tina Carter when she grows suspicious whilst facing implication behind the attack on Ian Beale. Thereafter they get into an argument after Christmas and Tina ends up deducing that Gray abused and killed his wife. Knowing she could expose his secret, Gray murders Tina and covers-up her murder.

In 2021, Gray continues to develop a romantic interest towards Whitney and secretly begins to control her. His obsession soon comes into conflict with Whitney's friend Kush Kazemi after discovering that Kush and Whitney have become a couple. By then, Gray has been hired by the square's local hardman Phil Mitchell to work for him and his son Ben Mitchell in legal cases; as the Mitchells and their acquaintance Shirley Carter, who is also Tina's half-sister, are building their criminal empire in Walford.

When Kush gets unknowingly involved with the Mitchells' criminal activities and grasses them up in court, Gray is unhappy to learn that Whitney is planning to leave the square with him. That night, Gray confronts Kush at the local tube station and accuses him of ruining Whitney's life. Kush, believing that Gray is still mournful over Chantelle, responds that he "needs help". This provokes Gray into attacking Kush and the pair have a brawl as a train is just moments away from reaching the station. Gray ultimately falls onto the tracks, but Kush helps him back up to safety. However, as Kush berates Gray for nearly getting himself killed, Gray decides to use this opportunity to silence Kush for good; he instantly shoves Kush onto a path of the arriving train, killing him before walking out of the station unnoticed.

The next day, Kush's death becomes public knowledge around the square and the Mitchells are likely to be implicated behind the incident. Gray later approaches Whitney to feign condolences, but is surprised when she outright accuses him of killing Kush and controlling her. Gray, seeing that Whitney is too upset to talk, is persuaded by Ben's boyfriend Callum Highway and their neighbour Sonia Fowler to leave Whitney alone for now.

Victims

Chantelle Atkins: Physically abused and raped her once. Pushed her back on dishwasher shelf with knifes placed upwards, leads her bled to death.

Tina Carter: Paid pizza delivery guy deny Tina's alibi place seen Tina at the crime scene

When she discovers that the witness' statement is unreliable, she confronts Gray on his lies. She questions him over the death of Chantelle, and when she learns that Gray abused and murdered her, she attempts to escape, a chase ensues until Gray grabs her as she attempts to get out the front door and strangles her to death.

Kush Kazemi: In final confrontation, he pushed Kush into the front of an underground oncoming train.

Whitney Dean: Trying to control her once he had her as Chantelle's replacement

Phil Mitchell: Framed him for Kush’s murder and trying to set him up.

Ben Mitchell: Framed him for conspiring to have Kush murdered and trying to set him up.


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Trivia

  • Toby-Alexander Smith (the actor who played Gray Atkins) was shortlisted for "Best Villain" at the 2020 Inside Soap Awards; but lost out to Ian Bartholomew, who played Geoff Metcalfe in Coronation Street.
  • Despite being one of the soaps evil antagonist and most hated characters along with Trevor Morgan, He had redeeming qualities such as; trying to change his ways for Chantelle, saved Whitney from going to jail and being kidnapped by Leo’s mother, feeling regret and didn’t mean to kill Chantelle and saving Kheerat, Tommy, Janine and Scarlett from the fire.
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