Cute, sweet little Clare Bates is back in Walford… Only she’s not so sweet any more, warns soap bitch Gemma Bissex!

Clare left EastEnders with her stepdad Nigel Bates 10 years ago. How old were you?

“I was six when I joined and 15 when I left. I never did the drama school route – I got my training on EastEnders.”

We hear she makes a spectacular entrance…

“She’s gets thrown out of a speeding car! She’s had a fight with her lover and turns up wearing next to nothing – just a short PVC backless dress.”

How do people react to her?

“Clare goes into the Vic looking for Dot and Roxy says, ‘If you want more “punters you can go to Bridge Street.’ You can see why because what she’s wearing is ridiculous. She looks like a tramp to be honest.”

Does she find Dot?

“Not at first. Ian sees her and takes her in and lets her get cleaned up but, while he’s not looking, she pinches money from his wallet.”

So she’s a thief?

“Not really but she’s desperate – she lands in Albert Square with nothing, not even a handbag. But also she’s a little minx and thinks nothing of using men to get herself money.”

Would she use Ian in that way?

“Yes, because she hears he’s got money. The fact that he’s married is even better. Money is what drives her.”

So is Nigel out of the picture now?

Ultimately Nigel isn’t her real dad and her mum is dead. Her real father was abusive. I think she feels quite alone.”

What about her lover?

“She’s been the mistress of this CEO of a big company, but he’s the one who chucks her out of the car so that looks over. Basically she’s lonely and hasn’t got any friends.”

Will she find any in Walford?

“She’s going to be mates with Chelsea… or as Tiana who plays Chelsea calls them – ‘frenemies’. Clare gets a job as assistant manageress at Tanya’s beauty salon and they eventually make friends, but they keep pulling pranks on each other and getting into trouble.”

What’s it like to play another bad girl called Clare after your Hollyoaks role?

“I don’t mind… they’re not that similar. Clare in Hollyoaks was a murdering witch, but EastEnders’ Clare has a heart. She’s more of a chancer and not as vindictive.”

But no angel either, right?

“She is clever and manipulative so I reckon she’s going to be causing a lot of trouble. The Walford men should look out because she’ll use her assets to get what she wants!”