Two real-life brothers, an actress who has played TWO previous roles in EastEnders, a bloke from Benidorm and a bearded dragon called Rooney – this is the new “not-to-be-messed-with” EastEnders family.
The Taylors will, we are assured, make “quite an entrance” when they arrive in Albert Square this summer, giving the resident Walfordians “a rude awakening”.
EastEnders executive producer Sean O’Connor describes them as “noisy and brash” who “lack cash” but “have love and warmth in spades”.
The announcement has split opinion among fans on the soap’s Facebook page, with some worried they are a stereotypical white working-class family and/or a pale imitation of the Millers.
Others have said there should be more ethnic minority families instead, or have questioned whether they would be able to afford to live in the East End these days.
But some are looking forward to what O’Connor described as their “explosive” impact on Walford life.
The Taylors (pictured top, left to right):
- Bernadette Taylor (Clair Norris). Teenage daughter Bernadette “has little interest in anything other than sitting around the house and dreaming of being famous”. It’s Norris’s first TV role.
- Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley). Viewers may recognise Stanley as Linzi Bragg’s mum Thelma, or as young Mo from the 2004 spin-off Pat and Mo. She’s back as single mum Karen, “a 20-a-day lioness, bringing up her kids with no support, no money and a very loud mouth”.
- Chatham Taylor (Alfie Jacobs) and Riley Taylor (Tom Jacobs). Wonderfully, the on-screen brothers are actual brothers. Their characters both have learning difficulties.
- Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters). Great name. He’s “a charming, happy-go-lucky lad” who “sees himself as the man of the family and is protective over his siblings”. Walters is best-known as Benidorm’s Tiger Dyke and says he “will try his very best not to disturb the peace in the Square”. Yeah, right.
- Bronson the dog. A Staffordshire bull terrier, resplendent in military camouflage harness.
- Chantelle (not pictured). It surely won’t be long before we also meet an older sister, who lives nearby with her boyfriend and two kids.
- Rooney the bearded dragon (not pictured). Better name.