Ricky Norwood (EastEnders' Fatboy) interview



Ricky Norwood talks about the new online series EastEnders: E20, being a fan of EastEnders, and his cheeky hustling character, Fatboy.

Watch a clip of Fatboy...



Fatboy has invented all manner of personas since he was seven years old in an attempt to avoid being Arthur Chubb (his real name). His current and most sustained self-creation is Fatboy.

> Take a look at our EastEnders: E20 preview.

> Find out E20 spoilers in our episode guide.


As a fan of EastEnders, who is your favourite character?

"I've always been a big fan of Patrick, he really makes me laugh. Lucy and Janine as well as the kind of devious characters – there is always something going on there and I always love to see what is coming next from those guys. Heather as well – Heather is fantastic – she is hilarious."

What can we expect from EastEnders: E20?


"You can expect a lot of energy, a lot of fun, a lot of jokes, some good times and some bad times. It is going to be very exciting."

What was it like filming EastEnders: E20, whilst EastEnders was being filmed on the same set?


"It was a bit surreal because EastEnders has been on in my house forever. Working on EastEnders: E20 in and around EastEnders while they were filming the main line show was just a bit surreal, a bit like a dream. Working on EastEnders: E20 was fantastic as well because it was like working on a movie, the way it was shot, the team and there was just the four cast members to rely on. It was awesome to have that pressure on you as an actor to deliver your lines and to give a good performance."

Your character, Fatboy, is someone Arthur created - why do you think he hides behind different personas?


"Well, for the same reason most kids put on a front, it's to protect himself from the world. He doesn't like his real name so he tried to create something that would get away from that and Fatboy was that creation. The street and the slang stuff is not something that is far away from him, it is still from the area that he lives in. Fatboy was someone he adopted to put a brave face on, to put a mask on himself, to protect Arthur from the world."

How is Fatboy's relationship with his parents? Does he get on well with them?

"Yeah, he gets on fantastically with his parents. He comes from, not a rich background but from a well-off background, he has never had to want for anything. If he wants something then he can get it. He gets a bit of stick for that because the majority of kids from his background aren't getting what he is.

"He is the type of kid to be the first one with the new football top on so he gets a bit of stick for that. He does the hustling to cover up that his parents are giving him the money. It stops the mickey being taken out of him."

Is his hustling successful?


"There are hits and misses. The majority of the time, maybe seven times out of ten, his plan will work, sometimes it won't work out the way he planned it but it will end up that the dominoes fall in his favour and the plan will end up working."

How would you describe him?


"I'd describe him as a bit of a wannabe. He wants to be so much: he doesn't just want to be street, he wants to be a bit gangster, a bit of a player, a bit of a womaniser, a bit of a businessman, caring, kind – he wants to be all these different things. He tries to put on this act, this brave face to get a reputation and for a bit of status, so that people don't just say, 'Oh that's that boy' – they say, 'Who's that boy and why is he called Fatboy?'"

Would you be friends with him if he was a real person?


"More than likely, I think, he is a fun character. Yeah, he likes a laugh and he is always on the next scheme and the next scam. I think we'd have a lot to laugh about really, I think we'd end up having a lot of jokes."

Are there similarities between you and your character?


"I don't think there are similarities, Fatboy, the character is an exaggeration of me. The slang, the stuff that I know, the stuff that I've been brought up with, he is an exaggeration of that. His characters and personas, although personally they're not what I would do, there is definitely an understanding there of why he would do it."