Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct that some readers may find upsetting.
EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders boss Chris Clenshaw has spoken about the upcoming return of Freddie Slater.
Model and influencer Bobby Brazier has been cast in the role of Freddie, who was last seen as a young child in 2006.
In next week's episodes, 18-year-old Freddie makes his return and immediately causes a stir by haggling at Billy Mitchell's market stall and stealing from Stacey Slater's food van.
Just when Billy is about to call the police, Freddie mistakenly introduces himself as his son.
In reality, Freddie was conceived in late 2003 when his mum Little Mo Slater was raped by Graham Foster.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media at a press event last week, Clenshaw explained: "Freddie is like a cheeky charmer, like we've seen before. He's a bit of a lad, but I call him a modern day lad. He's got this spiritual side and he's philosophical.
"Freddie lives in the moment. He doesn't see too far down the road, so he doesn't think about the consequences of his actions and therefore he gets himself into a lot of trouble quite often."
He continued: "Freddie comes because he thinks Billy Mitchell is his dad. A lot of the audience will remember that story and know the truth. It's not long before Freddie discovers Billy isn't his dad."
Next week, Honey Mitchell clashes with Billy at The Vic when she finds out that Freddie doesn't know the truth about his paternity. She orders Billy to contact Little Mo about telling Freddie the truth about his biological father.
As well as his modelling work, Bobby Brazier is known for being the son of the late Big Brother contestant Jade Goody.
Asked how his casting came about, Clenshaw replied: "We were doing our usual casting process and we're always looking for new talent. I saw Bobby's social media and we were already conceiving Freddie and building his character.
"There was some of what I saw in Bobby that I thought would be perfect for Freddie. His energy, his twinkle, his spiritual side. So then we brought Bobby in to audition along with some others and he just blew us away with his performance. He is Freddie Slater."
Check out Digital Spy's full coverage from EastEnders' autumn press event:
EastEnders airs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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