'It’s a total game of cat and mouse'

A lot’s been said about Mel Owen’s New Year’s Day wedding revenge plan in EastEnders. But how will it sit with her intended, Ray Kelly, who’s a violent undercover cop?

In a break from filming the soap at London’s Elstree Studios actor Sean Mahon, who plays Ray, stopped for a chat about the storyline which is currently brewing in Walford and will explode as 2019 begins.

“The wedding is a set up for Ray, so Mel can win the day. But, on the wedding day, some events happen that may challenge her ability to win the day!” he revealed.

“I love the fact that Mel is such a strong, female figure. And I love the fact that, myself and Tamzin [Outhwaite who plays Mel], and Mel and Ray can go toe-to-toe and head-to-head. It’s a total game of cat and mouse.

“I knew the storyline was going in a certain direction, but I didn’t realise the way it’s aired, that it’s such a huge moment. How lucky am I?,” said Sean, of having the duff-duff moment.

Ray in EastEnders in his wedding day suit

Mel has a fight on her hands thanks to Ray!

How the wedding day plays out remains to be seen but the actor teased it isn’t going to be pretty: “If you push a rabid dog into a corner they’re going to come at you very, very fast. If you’re going to pin Ray into a corner, he’s going to come out swinging.

“Ray loves Hunter, too. He likes the idea of being a father figure. If that glorified picture of himself as a great father is threatened, he could lash out.”

Though Mel dumped Jack Branning to reunite with former ex, Ray, it wasn’t long before she discovered he had other lives and other wives. Sean promised Ray’s background will be revealed as part of the epic storyline – and may even see viewers easing up on the serial bigamist as they learn why Ray is the way he is.

“People aren’t generally maniacal, they just make choices because that’s what they think they should do,” said Sean.

“My hope is, as the story unfolds, you’ll understand why Ray is how he is. Maybe you will sympathise or feel compassionate towards him.”

Watch EastEnders on BBC1 from 8pm on New Year’s Day to see Mel and Ray’s wedding play out.