Time to remember one of EastEnders original and best characters. The gormless George "Lofty" Holloway was played by Tom Watt. Lofty is one of the serial's original characters, making his first appearance in the third episode, 26 February 1985. Lofty was generally depicted as a meek, luckless and hapless victim. A long running storyline concerns his relationship with the character Michelle Fowler. Lofty bid farewell to Walford on 19 April 1988.
George Holloway, nicknamed 'Lofty' due to his above average height, serves in the army but has to leave because he suffers with chronic asthma; he settles in Walford and gets a job as a barman at The Queen Victoria Public House. Lofty is devoted to his aunt Irene, who lives in a hospice, stricken with inoperable cancer. He takes on the task of caring and visiting her and is devastated when she eventually dies in 1987. He grows close to Michelle Fowler after she falls pregnant in 1985 and refuses to name the father - the actual father, Den Watts, is Lofty's employer although Lofty never discovers this. Michelle finds the prospect of bringing up a child daunting. Lofty struggles to see Michelle unhappy and chivalrously offers to marry her and help bring her baby, Vicki, up as his own. Although Michelle does not love Lofty, she accepts his proposal, realising that she can never be with her baby's real father. However, on their wedding day, Michelle is visited by Den in secret and this makes Michelle reconsider her options; she jilts Lofty at the altar, devastating him.
- "Born of a working-class London family, which was very respectable: Church of England and ex-army...Lofty grew up in a house where his father was only really happy when reminiscing about his army days and his mother was ultra-possessive and narrow minded...His friends were always vetted...He grew up to despise his mother and have a tolerant pity for his father...His best moments came in the Boy Scouts, the summer camp, and the feeling of belonging...On his eighteenth birthday, he walked into an army careers office and from then until the age of twenty-one had the happiest years of his life in the RASC...He adored the army - It gave him a uniform, and set the limits...Then the shock - he was discovered to be physically unfit...Dormant asthma...He was invalided out of the service...And, he had no taste for civilian life...His Auntie Irene (now in a hospice) secured the flat above Ethel Skinner's for Lofty...He misses the security of the Army...He works in the pub - cash in hand." (page 60)