Kathy Beale made a surprise return to EastEnders tonight after meeting up with Phil Mitchell, 15 years after appearing on screen and 9 years after supposedly being killed off in a car crash.
In live scenes just broadcast on BBC One, actress Gillian Taylforth was seen stepping out of a cab on location in the east end of London to share a scene with Steve McFadden, who plays her ex-husband Phil Mitchell.
Taylforth’s comeback comes just three months after Kathy made a cameo for a special Children in Need sketch that saw Ian encounter his mum in a dream.
Talking about her return to EastEnders, Gillian said: “When Dominic [Treadwell-Collins, executive producer] approached me with his plan, I was so shocked I got into my car and burst into tears! ‘Kathy’ has always been so close to my heart and it’s absolutely wonderful to be returning to the show and reprising the role.”
Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, added: “I’m thrilled, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve finally got my mum back! I’ve been keeping this secret for so long and now I just can’t wait to work with her again.”
Dominic Treadwell-Collins, executive producer, said: “I have always made my feelings on Kathy Beale and Gillian Taylforth very clear – she is part of EastEnders history, mother to Ian and Ben and one of the most important and iconic television characters on British television. Six months ago, we set ourselves the challenge of bringing Kathy back to the Square in a credible way. And I believe we have succeeded.
“Viewers will have to keep watching to find out exactly why Kathy ‘died’, where she has been all these years and why she now wants to come home to Albert Square. This is only the beginning of one of the most earth-shattering storylines EastEnders has ever seen…”
EastEnders continues tonight at 9pm for a ‘killer twist’, when viewers will discover if Jane really did kill Lucy…