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EastEnders character
Annie Palmer ee.jpg
Annie Palmer
Portrayed by Nadia Sawalha
Duration 1997–99
First appearance 5 May 1997
Last appearance 10 June 1999
Profile
Date of birth 27 November 1968
Occupation Business manager

Annie Palmer is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Nadia Sawalha.

Annie was a hard-nosed businesswoman, who wasn't averse to dabbling on the wrong side of the law (a trait that she picked up from her shady father). She liked to think she was the top-dog, but she was given a rude awakening when she crossed the wrong people, which nearly cost her her life.

Annie's story

Annie arrived in Albert Square in 1997 after her father George Palmer opened up The Market Cellar nightclub in Walford (which was actually used to facilitate his money laundering operations and illegal gambling). George was dating landlady Peggy Mitchell, but she and Annie never saw eye to eye and Annie often took pleasure in winding her up.

Annie, like her father, was well connected in the business world, and their name carried serious clout in the criminal underworld too. It wasn't long before Annie had built herself a small business empire in Albert Square. She had most of the local council on side and she was instrumental in helping Ian Beale run for a seat on the council. She owned a healthy proportion of the Walford health-club with Grant Mitchell and as well as her gambling den and nightclub, she also started a loan shark business with Phil Mitchell, not to mention her continuous dealing in money laundering scams.

Annie was shrewd and smart and completely averse to showing any emotion, which came from a desperate need to prove that she could cut it in the male dominated business that she'd chosen to go into. She wanted to show her father that she could do her job as good as, if not better than, any man. But behind Annie's tough exterior, she masked a hidden vulnerability, and for that reason she rarely allowed men to get close to her. She had flings with Conor Flaherty (who was her loan shark 'heavy') and Phil Mitchell at the same time, and relished watching them compete against each other for her affections. She later became close to her childhood friend Gianni di Marco, but when it looked like the two were about to embark on a relationship, Annie's father dropped the bombshell that Gianni may in fact be his son. It was subsequently revealed that George had had an affair with Gianni's mother Rosa behind Rosa's husband's back, and Gianni's paternity was unknown. The realisation that he could have been having an incestuous relationship with Annie devastated Gianni, and he subsequently cut all ties with both George and Annie. Blood tests later confirmed that George wasn't Gianni's father, which devastated him as he had always longed for a son to pass over his family business to. Seeing her father's devastation, Annie showed some rare emotion and revealed to him that she'd always sensed his desperation for a son and this was why she had always strived so hard to prove her worth. Unable to deal with Annie's emotion, George left England in 1998, leaving Annie to run their businesses on her own.

Annie later became involved with fellow businessman Steve Owen and the two would often play a cat-and-mouse game of one-upmanship with each other. He did manage to get through her prickly defences though, even managing to get her to agree to selling her club to him, which he renamed the e20.

Annie's loan shark business hit a setback in 1999, when she began to dabble on the turf of a rival business gang. After receiving threats, Annie decided not to cede, which ended up being a grave mistake as she was subsequently beaten close to death by the gang's heavies. The experience hugely undermined her confidence, and although she put on a brave front, she found it increasingly difficult to cope after this. She turned to Steve for support and comfort, but her advances were rejected leaving Annie humiliated. To get back at Steve she sold her shares in the health club to Grant instead of him, but it was a hollow victory and in June 1999 she walked out of Walford for good. She is currently living in New Zealand with her father, where his import/export business is based.

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