Kathleen "Kat" Moon (née Slater) is a fictional characterEastEnders, played by Jessie Wallace. She was also played by Kate Peck in a flashback in 2001. She appeared in the show from September 2000 to November 2004, then returned in May 2005. She left again on 25 December 2005, and returned on 17 September 2010.
Kat is the daughter of Charlie and Viv Slater, and arrived with her sisters Lynne and Little Mo. Her daughter Zoe was initially believed to be her sister as well until Kat revealed she was raped by her uncle Harry as a child. She went on to marry Alfie Moon, played by Shane Richie. Kat's usual dress is very short skirts and leopard-print tops, with a lot of make-up and heavy fake tan. She often goes on all-night drinking binges and sleeps with many men, but calms down in her later years. As such, she can be described as a tart with a heart character.
In 2000, EastEnders' executive producer John Yorke decided to introduce the "classic" Slater family.He felt the show needed to go back to its roots and bring back some traditional values. BBC's head of drama, Mal Young commented, "We do not have enough solid families in the soap, there were a lot of fractured families and people who were alone." The family were created as a replacement for the di Marco family, who were axed by Yorke. The family consisted of, grandmother Mo Harris (Laila Morse), father Charlie (Derek Martin), his four children, Lynne (Elaine Lordan), Kat (Wallace), Little Mo (Kacey Ainsworth), Zoe (Michelle Ryan), as well as Lynne's boyfriend Garry Hobbs (Ricky Groves). It later transpired that Kat was the mother of Zoe, after being raped by her uncle Harry Slater (Michael Elphick).
Actress Jessie Wallace was cast in the role of Kat after the character was developed at an improvisation session for thirty actors and actresses earlier in the year. The character was described as "a bit of a floozy", "a bitch" and "very lazy". She made her first on-screen appearance on 18 September 2000.
On 24 April 2004, it was announced that Wallace was pregnant with her first child and that she would take maternity leave from EastEnders later in the year. Wallace filmed her final scenes at the end of August 2004. She returned to filming in February 2005 and made her on-screen return in May. Wallace signed a six-month contract in a reported bid to boost the show's ratings.In July 2005, the BBC announced that Jessie Wallace had decided to leave EastEnders in a 'mutual' decision with producers. The BBC said that Kat would not be killed off, and a spokesman commented: "As a newcomer we found an amazing talent in Jessie and we thank her for a fantastic contribution to the show, Jessie and the writers want Kat Moon to go out on a high." Wallace was one of several high-profile EastEnders stars to announce their departures that year; Tracy-Ann Obermanand Nigel Harman quit their roles of Chrissie Watts and Dennis Rickman respectively.Kat's exit storyline centred upon her on-off relationship with husband Alfie. Shane Richie, who plays him, also announced his decision to quit in April 2005. When Alfie's grandmother Nana Moon (Hilda Braid) dies, Kat comforts him, and their feelings for each other are rekindled, however Kat was devastated when Alfie revealed he was going to the United States alone. Kat's exit was featured over one episode, on Sunday 25 December 2005. Kat left Walford for the United States with Alfie, in an episode that aired in December 2005.
In 2009 Wallace stated that she missed playing Kat, although at the time, she said she had no immediate plans to return. She stated: "I left four years ago now and people are constantly asking me if I'm going back. I've done a lot since but I do miss her. Other people tell me they miss her too. She was a great character to play and I do miss working with Mo because I love her dearly. I don't have any plans as yet to go back. But yesterday someone came to the stage door saying they'd heard on the radio that Kat and Alfie were coming back. I said, 'That's news to me'." Wallace added: "Every day people still call me Kat. I can't really get away from it, no matter how many characters I play, but I was in people's living room four times a week. I'm flattered that people still remember her."