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Villain Overview

So far, it has been you against me, Chantelle, and that is not right!
~ Gray Atkins to his wife Chantelle while domestically abusing her.
You're not going anywhere ever! Your place is here with me!
~ Gray Atkins refusing to let Chantelle leave him and take the kids just before pushing her onto a knife-packed dishwasher in a fit of rage.
Your sister shouldn't have saved me!
~ Gray Atkins' taunting outburst towards Tina Carter before killing her.
No, No I don't need help, I need Whitney!
~ Gray Atkins revealing his true colors to Kush Kazemi before killing him.

Gray Atkins is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders. He debuted in 2019 and since then has served as the show's main antagonist in 2020-2021 up until March 2022 and he later became an unseen overarching antagonist throughout the rest of the year.

His storyline begun in July 2019 where he domestically abused and later murdered 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. In March 2022, he was finally arrested for his murders.

He is portrayed by Toby Alexander Smith.

Biography

Origin

Gray Atkins is a good looking man, charming man that everyone admires and respects. But it is soon revealed that he is actually an abusive, sociopathic monster who became this sort of person from the poor treatment he received from his father. Sometime later he married Chantelle Atkins, whom he routinely bullies and undermines as well as physically abuses. This continues even after she gives birth to their children, Mack and Mia. So much so that Chantelle is petrified of him to the point where she does not say a word against him in fear that if she does mention a word against him it will lead to serious consequences for herself. When his reputation is threatened, Gray turns very violet to keep his so-called good reputation present.

General Overview

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 pedophile 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. However, he shows genuine sadness after Chantelle dies.

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. Whitney wants revenge so tries to kill Ben Mitchell but accidently hits Kat Slater but Gray gives her an alabai to prevent her from going to prison. However, Whitney reveals she hit Kat which leaves Gray furious so kick Whitney out his house.

After the relationship with Whitney ends Gray focuses his attention to Chelsea. They grow close and Chelsea becomes pregnant, However, Chelsea and Gray get into an argument so they part ways but Chelsea continues to use Gray card which leaves him reeling. Gray refocuses his attention on Whitney but Gray shouts at Whitney for keeping Chelsea pregnancy a secret from him and holds a knife and tells Whitney to leave before he does something he regrets. Gray loses his job as a solicitor for bullying women so is forced to work in a fast food chain. Gray then sets up his own firm and plans to get married on Christmas day 2021. However, Whitney tries to sabotage the wedding by trying to kiss and seduce him but Gray rejects her. Whitney plans to stop Gray and Chelsea getting married fails, Whitney shows the online forum messages to Chelsea resulting in Chelsea believing that Gray killed Chantelle.

Therefore, Chelsea plans to leave Gray but fails as Gray has already registered himself as Jordan's dad who is Gray's newly born kid. Kheerat gets fed up of Gray so taunts him with the online posts of his abuse of Chantelle. When he realizes it was Kheerat, they get into a fight which leaves Gray in a coma. When Gray wakes up he finds out a dead body has been found and has been identified as Tina Carter which leaves Gray on edge.

Whitney tells Mick that Gray killed Tina. At first Mick does not believe her but later he does. Then Shirley goes with a knife to Gray's home but Gray does not answer. Gray then calls the police on Kheerat and kidnaps his son and takes him to Karen for safety. Karen believes he is innocent. Gray then comes home and admits to Chelsea that he killed Chantelle by accident but she is on a call to the police. When Gray finds out that Chelsea is recording he prepares to kill her but is prevented by the police knocking on the door. He breaks into Karen's house to collect his kids but Karen does not let him leave with the children. He finally admits he killed Chantelle which results in Karen swinging a bat at him but she misses. However, she shouts to the police to give Gray's location away. When Gray is running he attempts to hide in the Queen Vic but is met by Shirley. Shirley hits him over the head and prepares to kill him but Mick prevents her to stop her going to prison. When he running away, Whitney spots and chases him. He prevents to kill himself to avoid prison but Whitney prevents him so he can suffer in prison. Gray admits he killed Kush so Whitney should kill him now. However, Gray is prevent from committing suicide as Mitch pulls him up. Gray is arrested and finally has he comeuppance. Just before entering the police car he taunts Karen by pointing at his eyes which means Chantelle saw Gray's eyes just before she died which causes Karen to break down.

2019

Gray punching Chantelle.

Gray and Chantelle renewing their vows.

Gray is the spouse of Chantelle Atkins and the father of Mia and Mac Atkins. His first appearance is on the 29th March 2019 in a hair salon, when his wife named Chantelle Atkins is cutting hair. He acts like a customer but then is later revealed to be Chantelle's husband.

In April 2019, Gray buys a home for Chantelle and they move into 1 Albert Square with Mac and Mia. While Gray is seen to be caring for Chantelle's family who includes Keegan and Karen. However, Gray has a very evil side to him which consists of his abuse. Throughout the summer of 2019 he abuse Chantelle with punches hits and even beatings.

In September 2019, Gray beats Chantelle again after she comes home too late for his liking. Chantelle arrives home to a drunk Gray and Gray shouts at Chantelle for ruining his night. After shouting at Chantelle, she decided she wants to go to her mother's house to avoid any further abuse. However, while attempting to leave, Gray punches her causing her collapse to the ground near the front door. When Gray was preparing to hit her a second time, Chantelle screams to him that she's pregnant. Then Gray hugs her and tells her that it is great news and acts happy about the situation. Chantelle is still petrified.

After a while Gray and Chantelle talk about the abuse of her. Gray manages her to convince her that he needs help.

Chantelle mistakenly cuts her wrist with a glass so Gray takes her to the hospital immediately. When the nurse checked her arm and asks her to take her clothes off the nurse notices several bruises which came from Gray abuse. The doctor knows already the bruises where abuse. However, when she questions Chantelle on what has been happening with her and Gray, Chantelle strongly denies any abuse was from him. Her doctor gives her a card balm contains a domestic abuse number and other resources. Chantelle refuses to take it, but when Gray comes in she suddenly hides it

When arriving home Chantelle accidently drops the helpline card and this makes Gray furious. Chantelle manages to convince Gray to seek anger management problems. When he returns from his appointment he accepts he need to change. However, it is possible he lied and actually never went to his appointment.

The next appoint Chantelle and Gray go to the appointment together and it is revealed that his father abuse him when he was a child. He then furthers admits that he has taken out his anger on his wife Chantelle.

In December 2019, Gary and Chantelle renew their vows. Chantelle wanted to reveal the abuse but she refrained. Then Gray forces Chantelle to have another child with him.

2020

Gray after pushing Chantelle onto a knife.

Gray tries to defend Whitney from Leo King who was the son of Tony King was abused Whitney in the past. Whitney kills Leo in self defence and is refused bail at first but it later allowed bail. Whitney and Gray become closer as Gray is trying to help her win her case against Leo and even results in a kiss between the pair of them which leaves Chantelle furious. Gray continues to abuse Chantelle in 2020 which consists of him breaking her arm and forcing her to hold her breath underwater. Lockdown makes it even worse for Chantelle and she is unable to leave and even get a minutes break.

Gray preparing to kill Tina.

Chantelle has had enough and prepares to leave and divorce him and take her kids with her with the help of Kheerat Panasar. All of them go on a family holiday but Gray joins them and then fakes a burglary to lure Chantelle home tp keep her trapped. This is where Chantelle finally confronts Gray for his constant abuse of her saying that he is a bully and does not love him anyone so prepares to leave but Gray pushes her and she lands onto a knife. At first he seems concerned for her but then realizes he will go to prison so decide to let her bleed to death rather than saving her. Therefore he does not ring an ambulance and goes out to buy some milk to make out he was not present when Chantelle died. When he comes home he drops the milk glass on the floor and put a toy on the floor making out she slipped on the toy which lead to her death. However, Gray is genuinely saddened after Chantelle's death. After this Gray is questioned by the police but it later let out without charge.

In October 2020, during Chantelle's funeral she decides to defend Whitney instead of going to Chantelle's funeral and manages her to convince the jury of her innocent in the self defence of killing Leo King. Later that month he attempts to commit suicide due to feeling guilty of the crimes he committed suicide and talk his kids with him by using a lighter next to a cooker but it talked out of it by Shirley Carter.

In December 2020, Tina finds out that Gray killed Chantelle so to prevent her from exposing his crimes he prevent her from leaving and says that her sister should have not saved him as he strangles Tina and buries her under the Argee Bargee and lies to her family saying she left safely. Before burying her he is confront by Jack Branning and is act shifty but manages him to make him leave.

2021

Gray pushing Kush in front of a tube resulting in his death.

Throughout 2021, Gray lies about seeing Tina to cover his tracks which leaves Mick and Shirley in the dark

In 2021, he become angry with Kush Kazemi from taking Whitney Dean away from him and they are planning to escape to Dubai. This is due to Kush snitching on the Mitchell's to avoid a prison sentence for a robbery he and them committed back in 2020. Therefore he is forced to leave with the worry of the Mitchell's killing him and his family. Gray calls Whitney a slut for her relationship with Kush which leaves Kush furious. Therefore he confronts him at a tube station saying that he is taking away the only thing he cares about. Kush tries to explain that the grief is taking and Whitney was no more than a child minder for a few months. However, Gray does not accept his reason so tries to fight him but he ends up being left on the tube track with a tube incoming. Kush becomes concered and tells him not to touch the live rail and manages to pull him up before he is killed. He says to Gray that he could of killed himself and was confused at what he was playing at. However, Gray realises this is a great time to kill Kush so pushes him in front of the tube which results in his death. As no CCTV was present his track were covered.

This leaves Whitney devastated. Whitney believes the Mitchell's are responsible and if furious that Gray is helping them in the court preceding so calls him a traitor. However, they later make up. Whitney is still struggling from the death of Kush so tries to kill Ben Mitchell but hits Kat Slater. Gray gives Whitney a alibi to prevent her being sent to prison. However, Whitney tells other people which leaves Gray furious as he is worried he will be seen as a liar.

In August 2021, he loses his job as a solicitor as his boss finally realised for the man he really is. The boss tells him he is a bully that hates women which leaves him furious. He also develops feelings from Chelsea Fox this month and they spend a lot of time with each other. However later this month Gray shouts and insults Chelsea so the part different ways. Therefore Gray refocus his attention on Whitney. Whitney realises he is pregnant with Gray's baby and asks for her to tell him. When Gray finds out Whitney knew about the baby he is left furious with Whitney. Whitney and Gray get into an argument and Gray grabs on Knife and demands for her to leave. Whitney finally says that Gray and her are finally done for good. After this Chelsea and Gray reconnect again and are now expecting a baby. In December 2021 Whitney finds out that Gray abuse and killed Chantelle on a online forum so she becomes very worried for Chantelle's safety. On Christmas day 2021 Whitney tries to seduce and kiss Gray to stop the wedding. However, Gray and Chelsea still get married despite Whitney's effort to sabotage the wedding to protect Chelsea. Gray son called Jordan is born early and him and Chelsea get into an argument which results in her going into labour. Whitney later show the forum posts written by Chantelle to Chelsea in the hope she will leave him. Chelsea finally accepts that Gray is an abusive husband and finally accepts she needs to leave him for her own safety. Therefore Kheerat and Whitney work together to help Chelsea leave Gray.

2022

Gray after being hit with a glass bottle by Kheerat.

Gray is arrested and finally gets his comeuppance.

In January 2022, Whitney asks how Chelsea is coping when Gray suddenly comes into the club so Chelsea pretends to be Whitney's enemy by throwing water on her and saying to stay away from her or she will knock her into next week so Gray calms her down. Later Kheerat gives Chelsea a fake passport and she plans to not declare her newly born son Jordon Atkins as Gray being the father so she can run off. However, to Chelsea's despair Gray has already registered himself as Jordan's father making impossible for her to run off. Later that month Chelsea injuries herself by mistake and goes to A and E where a nurse tells Chelsea about the bruises she saw when treating Chantelle which leaves Chelsea worried and concerned. Kheeat pretends to be friendly to Gray in the hope he says someone incriminating. Gray comes close to admitting his crime says that everyone has to pay but manages not to say anything incriminates. Whitney believes the only way to stop Gray is to go to the police with the online forum posts. However, the police do not believe her and they say these posts could be from anyone. Nevertheless, the police question him and they are confident that he did not kill Chantelle and the officer tells Whitney to drop this obsession he has with Gray. Kheerat gets fed up with Gray getting away with his crimes so sends the online forum from Chantelle's account through the mail which infuriates Gray. Gray believes it is Mitch at first but then starts questioning Whitney. However, he finally realises his relationship with Kheerat was a lie and realises it was him who send these posts. Therefore he lures Kheerat to his home and confronts him. A fight break out a Gray prepares to kill Kheerat when he strangles him with his forearm but Kheerat prevent him by hitting him with a bottle over the head leaving him unconscious. Chelsea returns home and is horrified when she sees Gray lying on the floor with blood coming from his head. Chelsea calls the police and says that Kheerat tried to kill him so Kheerat runs off.

Gray wakes up next to Karen about a couple weeks after being hit. When he comes home from hospital he realises a dead was found under the Argee Bargee, which leaves him concerned. He soon decides to escape Walford when it becomes clear to him that the Carters and Whitney know that he killed Tina, thus making the Carters learn what he did to Chantelle. He is able to trick Karen into believing his innocence and keeping Jordan hidden at her house. But when Chelsea confronts him that night, Gray admits to killing Chantelle. She seemingly decides to run away with him anyways, but then Gray realizes that Chelsea has recorded her confession to the police. He promptly attacks Chelsea and nearly chokes her to death, but she fends him off and he flees when the police break into his house. Gray goes to collect his children from Karen, but her growing suspicions leads him to admit what he did to Chantelle. She disowns Gray, as do his children, and he is forced to abandon them when Karen alerts the police of his presence. Gray then runs into The Vic, where both Shirley and Mick attack him in revenge for Tina's murder. Shirley attempts to strangle Gray to death when Mick stops her, insisting that Gray needs to face justice for his crimes. Gray uses the opportunity to distract the two, knocking Shirley unconscious and forcing Mick to let him flee in order to help his mother.

Moments later, Gray is spotted by Whitney. She chases him to a railway bridge and they end up having a verbal confrontation when she confronts him. Gray attempts to dismiss Whitney's views on his character by insulting her, but she ignores him with persistence that he will go to prison for killing both Chantelle and Tina. Not wanting to to go prison, though, Gray attempts suicide. Whitney stops him and is determined not to see him take the easy way out. Gray attempts to goad Whitney into letting him go by confessing to Kush's murder. Whitney is horrified, but is unfazed as she struggles to keep hold of Gray when he threatens to take her to her death with him. Whitney nearly loses her grip, but then Mitch intervenes and helps Whitney force Gray up to safety; Mitch thereupon grabs Gray and looks angrily determined to hurt him to avenge Chantelle's death, but instead allows the police to apprehend him. In the end, Gray is finally arrested for his crimes and he is last scene taken into a police car and sent to prison. Just before entering the police car he taunts Karen by pointing at his eyes which means Chantelle saw Gray's eyes just before she died which causes Karen to break down.

Powers and Abilities

  • Intelligence Gray is very intelligent as he knows how to bully and belittle women whilst keeping his reputation as a good man still present.
  • Manipulation Gray is very manipulate and manages to make the women he bullies feel guilty and makes himself appear the victim.
  • Legal practises Gray is a solicitor so knows the law inside out so knows how to avoid trouble when the police come for him.
  • Charisma Gray is very charismatic so manages to lure women into a relationship with him then slowly starts to abuse them.
  • Looks Gray is a good looking man which he uses to his advantage.

Victims

  • Chantelle Atkins: Physically abused her to the point where he later raped her at one stage. The final confronation between them ended when he shoved her back on a dishwasher shelf with knifes placed upwards, before letting her bleed to death.
  • Tina Carter: Killed her by strangling Tina to death. Earlier on he paid a pizza delivery guy to sabotage Tina's alibi for her implication in the attack on local businessman Ian Beale. When she discovers that the witness' statement is unreliable, she confronts Gray on his lies and an argument between them leads her to discover what he did to Chantelle. Thereupon she attempts to escape, but Gray stops her before she can get out of the front door and murders her. He then buried her body in a building that was not discovered until March 2022.
  • Kush Kazemi: Murdered him by shoving Kush in front of an oncoming Underground train at a Tube station. He did this in order to have Kush's girlfriend Whitney Dean, whom Gray has an obsessive crush on, to himself before they could leave Walford for good.
  • Chelsea Fox: Gaslighted her for a while by using coercive control on Chelsea, similar to how he treated Chantelle besides physical abuse. Later on he strangled and prepared to kill her after she recorded his confession of killing Chantelle to the police, but Chelsea fended him off and he was forced to flee when the police arrived moments later to arrest him.
  • Shirley Carter: Knocked her unconcious when she attacked him in revenge for killing her sister Tina. She nearly succeeds until her son Mick arrived to stop her from killing him, which in turn allowed Gray to knocked Shirley out and leave her unconscious.
  • Whitney Dean: Developed an obsessive crush on Whitney to the point where he manipulates her throughout their apparent marriage and after he killed her boyfriend Kush. She eventually discovers this not long after finding out that he killed Tina and abused Chantelle before killing her. In their final confronation, Gray attempted suicide by jumping off a train bridge. Whitney attempted to stop him, and Gray in turn was prepared to kill her in his suicidal attempt by pulling her down to the ground with him. But she was rescued by Chantelle's father Mitch, who helped her prevent Gray from escaping and causing him to finally get arrested for his crimes.

Quotes

You treacherous little bitch
~ Gray prepares to kill Chelsea Fox after she recorded his confession about killing Chantelle to the police.
Consider it payback, for Kush
~ Gray admits he kills Kush to Whitney and asks her to kill him as payback so he can avoid prison.

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.

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