EE’s Greco confirmed for LA Telly Pilot; Palmer Next?


LOS ANGELES — Former EastEnders actor Michael Greco (Beppe di Marco) has signed on for a role in a pilot television show to be filmed in Los Angeles, and former colleague Patsy Palmer (Bianca Jackson) is in the “final stages of talks” to also appear in the initial episode, the Walford Gazette has learned directly from the show’s runner.

The planned series, which is being pitched to both UK and US networks, is the brainchild of Andrew Newton Lee, CEO of  Next Stop Media, which helps expatriates and actors with American immigration issues, such as obtaining visas.

Newton Lee, who had acted in Coronation Street, will play the pilot’s title character, ‘British Andy’. Newton Lee told the Gazette he’s also considering talking to other EastEnders actors, such as Danniella Westbrook (Sam Mitchell), about appearing in his show. Shooting is to begin most likely in mid-October, he added.

“[British Andy] is the same premise as The Office, Extras and Episodes. The actors play parodies of themselves,” Newton Lee explained. His show revolves around a fictional relocation service called ‘Make It Hollywood’, and the celebrities who come seeking its assistance.

In Extras, Ricky Gervais’s follow-up to the workplace mockumentary The Office, celebrities played versions of themselves, including Ross Kemp (Grant Mitchell), Kate Winslet and David Bowie. Extras, which featured Shaun Williamson in a recurring role as ‘Barry from EastEnders’, was situated in London, and The Office was located in Slough, the London suburb.

British Andy, like Episodes, will be set in Hollywood. In Episodes, soon to be starting its fourth series on the American pay cable channel Showtime, Matt LeBlanc (Friends), stars as an actor playing a gym teacher in an American sitcom based on a British hit series, whose husband-and-wife comedy writing team have a problem adapting to Tinseltown.

A British-American production, Episodes, which airs on BBC2 in Britain, was renewed for a fourth season on Showtime.

A British tabloid, the <em>Daily Mirror</em>, first broke the story about the pilot, and reported that Palmer recently relocated her family</a> to Los Angeles. The pilot reportedly would be her first LA job.

In 1995 Palmer told the Gazette’s Tim Wilson that she would love to do a Disney movie, and fancied herself doing a live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

In 2002 Greco left EastEnders, and he told this reporter at the time during an interview in London he recently found an agent in Los Angeles and hoped to make it big in the States. “Brits are really accepted there. I know a lot of Brits go to America to try to crack it.”

Greco has since sporadically acted, rather focusing on a professional poker career. He once played himself in an episode of Absolutely Fabulous.

On his IMDB resume, Newton Lee is described as a ‘series regular’ on the BBC’s Casualty and Hollyoaks, as well as Granada’s Coronation Street.

Newton Lee appeared on Piers Morgan in Hollywood, which aired in the UK on ITV1 in February 2009, and he spoke of the difficulties actors face when relocating to Los Angeles.

Instead of waiting to “pass the audition” in a heartless town, Newton Lee now is seeking to create his own vehicle.

Real London Therapist Psychoanalyses Ian Beale



By YasmIn Headley

Editor’s note: The author is an Integrative Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) psychotherapist in private practice in London, UK. Yasmin is also studying for a PhD in Mind-Body Medicine and Integrated Mental Health. She has followed EastEnders on and off over the years. You can reach her at and read more about her background at and

We are all a subject of our history. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something or is invested in you continuing to live as you are.

For some this is a good thing, for many this is not the way to go on. Many would love the magic elixir which would get rid of every negative break with the past but it is not possible to do so in a bottle, a happy thought or magic.

In looking at a psyche of a person we would look at their history, their present life and their thoughts and behaviour. We would look at the support system and resources they have in their lives and we would look at what they do when they are stressed.

In some therapies, such as the psychodynamic and the psychoana- lytic, a great deal of time is spent on the patient’s past and in the unfurling of their history. In cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is the approach I take, I spend some time there, but I also look at their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. These are key to helping an individual change. Modern-day research shows how we are not just a subject of history and genetics but we are also affected by epi-genetics. Epi-genetics is our environment, those who we have around us, the food we eat and the activities we do.

Ian Beale, like all of us, is subject to his genetics and epi-genetics too.


Ian Beale: Psychological Profile

Age: around 44 years old. History: Several ex-wives. Many relationships. Several children. Potential for suicide and/or psychotic break: probable. He lives in Walford, England.

Ian Beale is one of the few characters left on EastEnders since its inception in 1985. He grew up in the East End of London, known for its poverty. His father worked as a local fruit and vegetable trader. Families then often stayed and lived together.

Mr Beale’s history has certainly been interesting. In his life, he has had so many women who were un- faithful to him. There seems to be something about the women he chooses that makes them not as in- vested into the relationship as they should be. Is it the other women or is it Ian Beale?

Is Ian Beale’s choice something that will always lead to him maintaining his interest in his businesses and not his relationships? The victim mode would look into how the women are unfaithful, uncaring and in the end a distrustful species. The more mature mode would realise through having worked with thoughts, feelings and behaviours as to how much Ian is himself invested in causing his own ruptures. Often during his greatest moments of self-interest, typically involving various business venture obsessions, these relationship-rupturing events occur with the women in question.

The very secrets and mental lies he tells himself and others result in the women also lying, naming him the father of a baby. Keeping secrets is the very thing that attracts women with secrets too. So many events in Ian Beale’s life lead to his own undoing. His inability to be direct and truthful leads to a world of avoidance and lies.

Ian could very well attempt suicide or even go ‘mad’ or homeless rather than face matters head on. Ian Beale has learned to live in a world of secrets. I think he has a narcissistic personality disorder. Mr Beale does not just have overcompensating feelings of greatness; he’s often at the other end of the spectrum, experiencing long-term feelings of inadequacy. His greatness needs to be reflected not just in an empire of businesses in Walford, but his women also have to show how much they admire him.

A narcissist often attracts borderlines. A narcissist and a borderline present wonderful stories of aban- donment, loss, leaving, death and destruction. It is never boring when living in such a household and must be a scriptwriter’s delight.

Ian Beale is not exactly hand- some nor is he a Mr Universe with rippled muscles, is he? Yet, some- how, he always seems to attract

women. Is there some Viagra secret that we are unable to see? What se- cret is Mr Beale keeping in the bedroom that seems to have him always attract more women into his life? That alas, may be something we may never find out, as the British Board of Film Classification seems to be always running its fingers through the digital edits.

Meanwhile, the narcissist Mr Beale goes through Walford keep- ing everyone informed about what he is doing every day. He is more active in his needs for strokes of at- tention and ‘likes’ than a celebrity B-lister Facebook account. But this need of his to have constant ap- proval means that he is also over- sensitive to what others may think about him.

Feeling and thinking are also foreign to the narcissist. The only feelings that count for him are:

• What do others think of me?
• Don’t they know who I am?
• Why aren’t they thinking of me?

Imagine living in a world like this. It must be so exhausting thinking in this way. Me. Me and about me. He’s the type of person who would think it is easier to go ‘mad’ than to be sane in the world.

Maybe being ‘helpless’ will give Ian Beale the care and attention he needs. This behaviour strat- egy though does not tend to work long term. In moments like these it is as though he goes back to being a teenager again and not responsible for himself or others.

This is the Ian Beale that was brought up in Thatcher’s England of entrepreneurs, ambitions and money. Beliefs and thoughts of pure success can also mean having another extreme of pure failure as also being possible.

Ian Beale’s saving grace is that he is a good father and tries his best as a father to be there for his children. The only thing he has not thought out is that the women who leave him also leave his children, which then of course leave him lost again. Where would we be without being able to watch Ian Beale getting himself once again into the frustration of a pickle of lies? In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy we often ask patients what their goals are.

Depending upon what Mr Beale’s goals may be, I would be looking at helping him change his thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. Other possibilities are to look also into relaxation approaches such as mindfulness, hypnotism, guided imagery and stress reduction. In times of stress we are more likely to repeat unhealthy behaviours. Catching the next moments of stress before such ‘acting out’ takes place will leave Ian Beale in a much better position.

However, where would we be if everyone on Walford had CBT? There would be no EastEnders and all the wonderful ‘acting out’ which goes on. It would make very boring viewing. Meanwhile, we have Ian Beale in the Kingdom of Walford who is unaware that the Achilles’ heel is of his very own making.

N.B. Please note that these are imaginary musings and do not represent an actual clinical case study.

John Bardon Passes Away at 75


Minutes after the new issue was delivered to the printer, I learned that my good friend John Bardon (Jim Branning) had passed away at the age of 75. John had a stroke in 2007 and he never fully recovered. But thankfully he was in good health when he and his wife Enda enjoyed a wonderful holiday in New York in November 2005. My condolences go out to Enda, a trained nurse, who took wonderful care of him throughout his illness. Bardon, in a wheelchair and despite his poor condition, remarkably made a few appearances on EastEnders in recent years because he loved being on the show so much. Please go to the Walford Gazette website ( for my remembrances of John, whom I first met in 2002 at the BBC studio’s canteen (photo below). A full tribute will run in the next issue. –Larry Jaffee