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She's a liar, it runs in her blood. Her dad was the same. Dennis Watts just the same. The whole family are scum.
~ Jack Dalton lecturing Dennis Rickman about how both the Mitchells and Watts are scum, moments before his murder.

Jack Dalton is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running BBC British soap opera EastEnders.

He was the unseen overarching antagonist in 1985-1989 and the secondary antagonist in 2003 who merely appeared in 11 episodes. However, Dalton represented one of the show's biggest and most significant impacts to date when he was revealed to be responsible for the events behind Den Watts' famous exit and supposed death in February 1989 - which was originally masterminded by Dalton's gangland organization called The Firm.


Jack Dalton is a fearsome gangland boss who is responsible for ordering the death of Den Watts in February 1989. But Den survived and emigrated in Spain for many years. Dalton discovered this and later arranged for his superior, Mr. Vinnicombe, to be murderered as a scapegoat for The Firm's faliure to kill Den. This succeeded to the pojnt where Dalton had Vinnicombe's body dumped in the canal; furthermore, Vinnicombe's teeth were bricked so as to avoid dental records identification. Dalton then took over as leader of The Firm and started his own nightclub, The Imperial Rooms, in Albert Square.

Over the next decade, Dalton became the undisputed gangland kingpin of Walford. It was at somepoint that the square's local hardman, Phil Mitchell, became acquainted him. In 2003, Dalton orders for a young resident named Spencer Moon to be beaten up for using forged currency at his nightclub. Spencer's brother Alfie Moon took the berating to protect him.

A few weeks later, Dalton finds out that his secretary Kate Morton was actually an undercover policewoman investigating his gangland activities. He then plans to kate Kate murdered and sends his hitman, George Peters, to rape and murder her at her house. However, she was saved when Phil - who had previously dated Kate not long ago - comes to her rescue and later requests for Dalton to let her live. Dalton agrees on the condition that Phil does a favor for him.

The favor comes when Dalton gets reacquainted with his errand boy Dennis Rickman, who is also Phil's love rival, and the latter begins blackmailing him for £20,000 after Dennis had served an 18-month prison sentence for GBH connected to Dalton's gangland activities - as well as the fact that Dennis never revealed Dalton's involvement to the police about it. Dalton eventually relents, but decides to have Dennis killed for this and orders Phil to do it as his requested favour. Phil later confronts Dennis at gunpoint and prepares to kill him, but ends up abandoning this when Dennis offers to kill Dalton himself so that the pair of them would be free from their common enemy. Dennis later confronts Dalton at gunpoint and forces him to take them to the woods. Dennis then reveals that he is in fact Den's long-lost son and Dalton begs for his life. But Dennis kills Dalton by shooting him.

After Dalton's murder, Den returns and is pardoned by his successor Andy Hunter. Both are killed a couple year later when Den gets murdered by his wife Chrissie Watts and Andy is killed on the same night by fellow crime boss Johnny Allen. It is then Johnny finishes what Dalton started by having Dennis killed by his henchman Danny Moon.

A few months later, the murders of Dennis and Andy would be avenged when Phil and his brother Grant Mitchell bring Johnny to justice for his crimes - though not after Danny gets killed by his brother Jake Moon shortly before Johnny's daughter Ruby Allen forces her father to turn himself into the police; Johnny would later die of a heart attack whilst trying to have Ruby's boyfriend Sean Slater killed to no avail.

Following these events, The Firm and it's reputation had effectively been dismantled - along with Dalton's ruling legacy all over the square.


  • Despite making only 11 appearances in the show, Jack Dalton is hailed as one of EastEnders' most evil and significant villains to date.
    • This is because Dalton was the leader of The Firm at the time when they arranged for Den to be murdered in 1989, thus meaning that Dalton is the mastermind behind Den's supposed death back in February 1989.