Who was Tony King in EastEnders as his son Leo arrives?

Tony King was at the centre of one of EastEnders most controversial storylines (Picture: BBC)

Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer) is back in EastEnders – and shes brought plenty of drama along with her.

While shes been at the centre of Whitney (Shona McGarty)s wedding woes, theres more to come from her comeback, and its all linked to a mysterious man loitering around Albert Square whom Bianca appears to know.

And his identity was revealed on Monday night as Leo King – the son of Biancas former boyfriend Tony King

Tony was at the centre of a controversial storyline involving Bianca and Whitney during his time on the soap – but who was he and what happened?

Lets take a look back…

Who was Tony King in EastEnders?

Tony – played by actor Chris Coghill – was a character who became Biancas boyfriend in September 2008 when she was pregnant with youngest son Morgan.



On the surface he seemed like the perfect boyfriend – kind, caring and a good stepdad to her kids.

Actor Chris Coghill as Tony King in EastEnders
Chris Coghill revealed the storyline had prompted others to speak up about their own experiences (Picture: BBC)

However the character was revealed to be a paedophile who had been grooming Whitney – Biancas adopted daughter from a previous relationship – since she was 12 years old.

Tony had spent time in prison for assaulting a teenage boy who had propositioned Whitney, and when he joined the family in Walford resumed his sexual relationship with Whitney.

He subsequently became jealous of Peter Beale after he won a role opposite her in the school production of Romeo and Juliet – and convinced Whitney they would run away and start a new life together when she turned 16.

However he lost interest in Whitney after realising she was no longer a child and turned his attentions to 14-year-old Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa).

He was subsequently found out when Whitney booked flights for them to run away together on her 16th birthday, and told Bianca about the relationship, genuinely believing they were going to leave together.

Max Bowden as Ben Mitchell, Shona McGarty as Whitney and Patsy Palmer as Bianca in EastEnders
Biancas back in the Square and bringing the drama (Picture: BBC)

A horrified Bianca called the police and Tony was arrested – but returned to their home when he was released on bail and tried to convince Whitney not to give a statement to the police, only to be attacked by Ricky and re-arrested for breaching his bail conditions.

He still didnt give up, contacting Whitney from prison – leaving Bianca to try and persuade her to testify against Tony after she said she would refuse to appear at his trial.



Tony was eventually found guilty after Whitney revealed the truth about their relationship in course – and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

We later learned that he had committed suicide in prison, although this was some years later after the character had left the soap.

Was the storyline controversial?

It certainly was, with more than 200 viewers complaining to the BBC about the plot.

Actor Coghill said in 2015 that it had had a negative effect on his career, explaining: EastEnders killed my career a bit, he said. I play wrong uns in everything! When I got the script for this I was like, “Oh, hes really nice, lets look at the next episode. Oh, hes still really nice, and the next one – oh, gosh hes still really nice!”

However he added that others had gone to the police with similar experiences as a result of seeing the storyline on EastEnders – and that some cases had ended in convictions.

Who plays Leo King in EastEnders?

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