|Played by||Jane Slaughter|
|Arrival||19 February 1985|
|Occupation|| Market trader (flowers) |
Barmaid (since 1989)
Caterer (since 2010)
Tracey (known to fans as Tracey the barmaid) is a recurring character played by Jane Slaughter. She is the longest-serving background character, having appeared since the first episode on 19 February 1985, where she is seen working on the flower stall on Bridge Street Market.
Tracey starts working as a barmaid at The Queen Victoria public house, in 1989. Her existence is largely to provide somebody to man the bar while one of the main characters resolves disputes, arguments or disagreements, or tends to the main plot of the episode. Despite featuring on the television programme frequently, and occasionally having a line to say, her surname and most of her details are unknown. She has also featured in a few minor storylines. It has become a point of amusement amongst EastEnders fans that so little is known about the character and speculation is ongoing as to whether she will take a lead role in any future storylines. Weekly magazine Inside Soap run a regular feature commenting on Tracey's brief appearances, dubbed 'Tracey Watch'. They refer to her as "our fave barmaid", making observations such as: "The drinks are on Trace this week - she had an actual line! Ker-ching! Screen time: A brief, but intensely powerful, two seconds." A 2010 video on the official website of EastEnders spin-off EastEnders: E20 features the character Fatboy (Ricky Norwood) giving his "Survival Tips in Walford!", one of which is to not talk to Tracey, as "she goes on, and on, and on, and on." In 2010, Slaughter said that it would not make sense to make Tracey into "this talkative, all-singing, all-dancing person with a fully-fledged family and surname."
As well as being a barmaid, Tracey owns a flower stall on Bridge Street market. Her stall is regularly robbed by new characters who steal flowers for people they are meeting. She employs workers whilst she does shifts in the pub, including Ina Foot (Ina Clare) and Jean Slater (Gillian Wright). Tracey becomes good friends with Debbie Bates (Nicola Duffett), and is godmother to her daughter Clare Bates (Gemma Bissix). Tracey is often seen to be pleased at the prospect of additional overtime in The Queen Victoria when a Mitchell family wedding or other event is planned as she could always do with extra money.
On 14 April 2003 Tracey has a one-night stand with Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman), the adoptive half-brother of former pub owner Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), when he arrives in Albert Square, despite the fact that she is married. The day after, he returns her knickers to her publicly over the bar. In 2005, Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) breaks into the pub with a crowbar and Tracey discovers her, asking her to leave. Sam knocks Tracey out with the crowbar and drags her, unconscious, into the bathroom, locking her in. She goes downstairs to unearth the body of Den Watts (Leslie Grantham) who is buried in the basement, and when the police arrive, Tracey is comforted by Little Mo Mitchell (Kacey Ainsworth). After Sam is released from prison on bail she apologises to Tracey, but Tracey appears shaken by the ordeal and scared of Sam.
On 7 August 2008, Tracey opens up when Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky) questions why she is so quiet. She says she wants to keep herself to herself because she thinks that the Mitchells are all "stark raving mad" and that she does not fear any new barmaids as she had seen them come and go but she knows that she will always be behind the bar. She goes on to say that whoever lives in the pub is "cursed" in her opinion and that they will never be able to live happily together.
In March 2008, Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb) makes Tracey a cleaner at The Queen Victoria, and she is pleased for the extra money. She attends Peggy Mitchell's (Barbara Windsor) hen party and Peggy and Archie's wedding on 2 April. On 16 April 2009, Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) accuses Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) of drinking again. However, Phil covers this up by saying that he had broken a bottle of alcohol earlier, and Tracey backs him up.
On 28 April 2009, Tracey answers the phone to Minty Peterson (Cliff Parisi) questioning Phil's whereabouts from the night before. Tracey tells Phil about having to talk to the bank about some money issues. Following that, Phil pressures Tracey into talking about her feelings, supposedly for him, mentioning her husband in the process. Finally, she appears again towards the end of the episode wanting to help Ben Mitchell (Charlie Jones) get to school as Phil is too drunk to assist him. Phil, flirting with Tracey, tells her that her husband will not mind.
On 30 April 2009, she finds Heather Trott's (Cheryl Fergison) lost inhaler. On 30 July, she phones in with a back injury, and Peggy says it was unlike her to skive so it must be serious. Dot Branning (June Brown) describes Tracey as the person who "sees everything but says very little."
On 8 September 2009, Peggy tells Sam (now Daniella Westbrook) that Tracey still holds a grudge against her. On 26 November Tracey covers for both Peggy and Phil when bailiffs asks for them, by pretending she is just a barmaid from an agency and does not know them. She then informs Ben he needs to tell Phil that the bailiffs are looking for him and want to repossess his car.
On 24 December 2009, Archie Mitchell and Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) take over the pub, ousting Peggy and her family. Tracey is unhappy with the way Archie and Janine treated Peggy and the rest of the Mitchell family, and the straw that broke the camel's back comes the next day when Janine tells Tracey to put some tinsel in her hair and asks her to keep an eye on the Christmas dinner. Tracey leaves a note saying "Gone fishing", implying that she resigned. The next day, Tracey is present when Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) is arrested on suspicion of Archie's murder, and looks shocked. She also attends Jean's party on 11 January 2010. When Mo Harris (Laila Morse) opens a betting circle on the identity of Archie's killer, she lists Tracey as the rank outsider, giving her the nickname "Silent Assassin".
On 18 January 2010, Tracey appears behind the bar in a non-speaking capacity for The Queen Victoria's reopening. On 22 January, the pub's new owner, Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons), gives Tracey a warning for arriving two hours late, but Peggy explains that she asked her to come in late as she has done a lot of unpaid overtime recently. Later, Roxy sacks Tracey because she wants the pub to have younger bar staff. Peggy demands that Roxy beg Tracey to come back for the evening shift as workers like Tracey are 'gold dust'. Peggy tells Tracey on the phone that she is not sacked but Tracey hangs up. Tracey decides to take Roxy to an unfair dismissal tribunal, so Roxy says she will audition a new barmaid, giving Tracey a chance but making sure she loses. However, when Roxy realises she does not know how to run a pub, she gives Tracey her job back. Tracey suggests a curry night, and Roxy is happy to leave Tracey in charge of it, saying it is the most she has ever heard her speak. On that same day, viewers find out that Tracey and Shirley Carter are good friends. In March 2010, Billie Jackson (Devon Anderson) holds up The Queen Victoria, asking Tracey for cash and saying he has a gun. She fills his bag with cash but Phil takes it off her. In September 2010, following the fire at The Queen Victoria, Tracey starts working at Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) fish and chip shop. The next month, Alfie Moon (Shane Ritchie) offers Tracey her old job back at The Queen Victoria, along with Stacey Branning (Lacey Turner), after he reopens the pub.
On Friday 14 January 2011, during a conversation with Kat, it is revealed that Tracey has a son who lives with his father, as she and her husband have split up.