What happened to Martin Fowler and why did he leave Albert Square?

What happened to Martin Fowler and why did he leave Albert Square?

EastEnders is never short of drama, and this week was no exception in the wake of Bex Fowler (Jasmine Armfield)’s suicide attempt.

A panicked Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) was desperate to get hold of Martin (James Bye), Bex’s dad after it happened – except she wasn’t able to because, gasp, Martin made a surprise reappearance in Albert Square.

The character’s been absent for quite a while now – but what happened, and where has he been?

Here’s what you need to know…

Why did Martin leave EastEnders?

Martin fled the Square with Stacey in order to escape Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden), who knew that she was behind the attack that left Phil in a critical condition.

The storyline was written to allow actress Lacey Turner to go on maternity leave, having recently welcomed her daughter Dusty Rose into the world.

Previews of upcoming episodes hint that the feud is very much still on between Ben and Martin.

Friday’s instalment saw Bex desperately trying to get in touch with him, only for his phone to go to voicemail – leaving her berating him for not caring about his stricken daughter.

Unbeknown to her, however, he’s already back, with scenes showing him watching incognito as Ben grew concerned over the threat he’d received off Kheerat and Jags Panesar (Jaz Deol and Amar Adatia).

Where has Martin been?

Up until Friday’s episode, he was thought to be on the run with Stacey still.

The Slater family have been telling people they’re visiting Stacey’s brother Sean (Robert Kazinsky).

What’s Martin’s relationship with Sonia?

Martin Fowler (James Bye) is Sonia’s ex-husband and fathered Bex with her when Sonia was just 15 years old – without her even realising she was pregnant until she went into labour.

After divorcing Sonia – with their marriage ending in 2006 – he married Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner). The two had a rocky relationship, but ultimately Martin had Stacey’s back amidst her attack on Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

The character first joined the show in 1985. He has been played by three different actors.

Jon Peyton-Price played him from 1985-1996, followed by James Alexandrou for 11 years from 1996 to 2007.

James Bye has been playing the role since the character’s return in 2014.

The character left the Square in August 2019 following Stacey’s attack on Phil.

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