Charli XCX thanks ‘gays’ in EastEnders writers’ room after high-camp baby name tribute

On the left, EastEnders' Ricky Branning holds his newborn baby, Charli. On the right, Charli XCX at the Brit Awards.

British soap opera EastEnders has named one of its newest characters after pop icon Charli XCX, and fans simply can’t cope with how camp it is.

In an episode which aired earlier this week, thirteen-year-old Lily Slater (played by Lillia Turner), daughter of EastEnders legend Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), gave birth to a healthy baby daughter.

The baby’s father, Ricky Branning (Frankie Day), also 13, held his daughter in his arms and revealed that the pair had chosen an interesting name for their child – Charli, without the ‘e’.

Asked by Stacey whether Charli was named after her late uncle Charlie Slater, Ricky clarified that actually, no – she’s named after pop superstar and queer ally, Charli XCX.

“Oh,” came Stacey’s hilariously muted response. “Who?,” questioned the baby’s grandfather, Jack Branning (Scott Maslen), before his partner Denise Fox (Diane Parish) quipped: “Oh, get with it Jack, it’s a singer. Innit?”

Later on in the incredibly high-camp birth episode, the wider Slater and Branning family were discussing the new name, with Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) also asking whether Charli had got her unique name from the family patriarch, Charlie. 

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“Oh! No, sorry,” replied the baby’s grandmother, Jean Slater (Gillian Wright). “Charli, without the ‘e’, as in Charlie XYZ.”

When Fox then attempted to correct Jean, the scene descended into chaos and confusion.

Now, Charli XCX herself has responded to the hilarious baby name by thanking the “gays in the writers’ room” for their commitment to immortalising the pop star in Albert Square forever.

“Shout out my gays in the writers room!,” the “Good Ones” hitmaker wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in a post that has since garnered more than 55,000 ‘likes’.

The clip has since gone viral on the social media platform, with queer Charli XCX fans and EastEnders aficionados fawning over the crossover that absolutely no one saw coming.

“I cannot believe we live in a world where Charli XCX has an #EastEnders character named after her,” wrote one incredulous fan.

“The gays are running EastEnders and I’m fine with that,” another declared, while a third theorised: “There’s definitely a homosexual of a certain age in that writers’ room.”

“Give them a BAFTA for this and this only,” demanded a fourth.

EastEnders story editor Kyri Zindilis responded to Charli XCX’s acknowledgement of the clip, telling her that it was a “pleasure” to name a baby after her, while the moment has even been shared by notorious media company PopCrave.

Owing to Charli XCX’s love of cars – the singer has at least ten songs about vehicles, or crashing them – EastEnders fans fear that little Charli Slater may one day drive into the square’s beloved pub, The Queen Vic.

Others are speculating that Ricky Branning’s obsession with Charli XCX may hint at a future storyline in which comes out as gay: Though Charli XCX music is there to be enjoyed by all, straight or queer, there is a recurring trend of heterosexual men ‘fearing’ they’re gay because they listen to her songs.

The petition to get Charli Slater featured on XCX’s next album starts now.