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Dennis Rickman
Dennis Rickman

PORTRAYED BY

Nigel Harman

FULLNAME

Dennis Rickman

ALIAS

Den
Mr. Rickman

ORIGIN

EastEnders

OCCUPATION

Ex-associate of The Firm
Andy Hunter's bookkeeper
Den Watts' illegitimate son

POWERS AND SKILLS

High intelligence
Combat prowess
Gunmanship
Vast charisma

HOBBY

Spending quality time with Sharon
Protecting Sharon and their family; including Vicki Fowler and Zoe Slater
Fighting and beating up his enemies
Squaring up to Phil Mitchell

GOALS

Protect Sharon from Jack Dalton by killing him to avenge the death of their death
(succeeded).
Help his father Den Watts frame Sharon's boyfriend Phil Mitchell in a forged robbery to coerce him into leaving Walford
(succeeded).
Prevent Den from intervening in his relationship with Sharon and later marry her
(succeeded).
Get revenge on Johnny Allen for threatening Sharon as well as murdering his friend Andy Hunter
(succeeded).
Leave Walford with Sharon to escape from Johnny and start anew together
(failed).

CRIMES

Conspiracy to incrimination
Murder
Serial assault

TYPE OF CHARACTER

Honorable Criminal

Dennis Rickman is a fictional character of the BBC British soap opera EastEnders; first appearing as a central character in April 2003 and then becoming one of the show's main protagonists for the rest of the year and throughout 2004-2005.

History

Dennis, the product of a fling between Paula Rickman and Den Watts, makes his first appearance in handcuffs in April 2003, as he is on day release from prison to attend his mother's funeral. It is gradually revealed that he was neglected as a child by his mother and abused by a succession of her boyfriends, and spent some time living in a children's home. Den was unaware that he had a son, and by the time Dennis meets Den's daughters Sharon and Vicki, 14 years have passed since Den's disappearance and supposed death.

His introduction as a full-time character is marked by a fight with Phil Mitchell, in which he floors Phil with a single punch. This launches a rivalry with Phil which continues when Phil reneged on an agreement to meet Dennis for a fight at Phil's garage by bringing several associates who give Dennis a severe beating. Dennis infuriates Phil by seducing his sister Sam Mitchell, his wife-to-be Kate Morton - who previously dated Dennis - and his daughter's nanny, Joanne Ryan. The rivalry with Phil is concluded by Dennis's father Den when he returns from Spain. Den and Dennis trick Phil into committing an armed robbery at a local factory. They then abscond with the escape ladder and most of the cash, though Den leaves Phil with a few stolen notes and a gun to incriminate him. The feud brings Dennis closer to his father.

Dennis sees East End ganglord Jack Dalton as a father figure as he worked for him collecting debts, amongst other things, and his prison stint is due to working for Jack. After Dennis's release, Jack orders Phil to kill Dennis after he becomes independent of him. Dennis persuades Phil to kill Jack instead so they can both be free of him. Dennis marches him out into the woods at gunpoint and, following Dalton's admission that he ordered Den's murder in the 1980s, shoots him in the head. Dennis remains friends with Dalton's second-in-command, Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs), and is left the bookmakers in Andy's will after his death at the hands of Johnny Allen.

Dennis has a passionate fling with Den's adopted daughter Sharon Watts on the eve of Den's return but finds himself rejected when Den replaces him. They resume their affair in secret but Den cannot accept a relationship between his children and plots to split them up. Den taunts Dennis with the insinuation that someone had sexually abused him while he was in a children's home, successfully provoking Dennis into accidentally hitting Sharon. A guilt-ridden Den later apologises and explains his reasons for not wanting his son and daughter together, because he wants both of them in his life and he cannot have that if they are sleeping together. Den then tries to explain to Dennis that his feelings for Sharon are simply misguided due to the abuse he suffered as a child, which leaves Dennis confused and he decides to break up with Sharon in order to have a father-son relationship.

Despite Sharon's heartache, the Watts reform their strong bond, including the introduction of Den's new wife Chrissie Watts. Dennis moves in with Zoe Slater but cannot reciprocate her love and Sharon seduces him again. They continue their affair in secret behind Zoe and Den's backs they become sick of sneaking around and they plan to leave on Christmas Day. When they announce that they are in love and going to America together, Zoe, desperate to keep Dennis, announces that she is pregnant. Dennis does not want to be an absent father to the baby, so Sharon leaves without him. He stays with Zoe but refuses to sleep with her. She is desperate to get pregnant for real and resorts to sleeping with Den. Dennis eventually began to feel love for Zoe and looked forward to a life with her and the baby. However, when Dennis catches her and Den in bed and discovers she was never pregnant at all, he leaves but not before informing Chrissie about her and Den.

Dennis and Sharon return as a couple, after several months away and demand to see Den. Dennis sees through Chrissie's story that Den has left her for another woman but drops the matter to spare Sharon's feelings. Dennis and Sharon go on to marry, and following this, they learn that Sam Mitchell had exhumed their father's body from his grave in the cellar of The Queen Victoria public house. Den was murdered by Chrissie after she, Zoe and Sam confronted him about his manipulation of lies regarding the three of them (Den had tricked Sam into selling him The Queen Victoria). Chrissie had also lured Sharon back to overhear Den's confessions so that Den would lose the one person in his life that he truly loved. Den attacked Chrissie and Zoe hit Den with a doorstop to stop him. Den then grabbed Chrissie who delivered a fatal blow, leaving Zoe to believe she had killed him. The three women then buried his body in the basement. Dennis and Sharon bring Chrissie to justice and sell The Queen Victoria back to the Mitchells, apparently concluding the Watts/Mitchell feud. Dennis later visits Den's grave and tearfully mourns the father he never had.

On Christmas Day 2005, Sharon is admitted to hospital with suspected food poisoning, but finds out she is pregnant, despite the previous belief that she was infertile. After Dennis interferes with Johnny Allen and his treatment of his daughter Ruby, Johnny attacks Sharon but upon finding out she's pregnant, he relents and tells Sharon that if her and Dennis are gone by midnight on New Years Eve, he would not kill Dennis. After much insistence from Sharon, they prepare to leave on New Year's Eve to start a new life in the United States. Sharon does not tell Dennis that Johnny has threatened to kill him, but she confides in Phil, who then uses Dennis as a weapon against Johnny. Phil tells Dennis about Johnny threatening Sharon and also that Johnny had murdered Andy. Although Dennis knows what Phil's doing, he takes the bait anyway and beats Johnny to the brink of death. Johnny begs for help as he thinks he will die, so Dennis tosses him a mobile phone and says if he can reach it, he will live. Johnny is able to reach the phone and instead of calling for medical assistance, he contacts a henchman to murder Dennis as revenge for his beating.

After cleaning his hands of Johnny's blood, Dennis makes his way towards the Albert Square Gardens where the locals are setting up fireworks, to meet Sharon. As they lock eyes, Dennis is stabbed and collapses, dying in Sharon's arms. His last words are "we did it" in reference to their unborn son who was born six months later and named Dennis in honour of his father. It is later revealed that Dennis was killed by Danny Moon.

In October 2012, Derek Branning blurts out that Dennis was murdered, not knowing that Sharon's son Dennis Rickman Jr overheard him. Dennis is upset after learning the truth of his father's death, as he was told by Sharon that his father was a helicopter pilot and died while saving others. Sharon admits to Dennis Jr that she lied to protect him, and although he is angry, he eventually forgives her.


Trivia