'I couldn't refuse!' says Tamzin ahead of New Year comeback

All day EastEnders fans have been expecting a huge announcement and the show hasn’t disappointed as it’s been revealed that Tamzin Outhwaite will be reprising her role as Melanie Owen.

Tamzin, who will be back in Walford in the New Year, said she couldn’t refuse the chance to come back as Mel, who was last seen in April 2002, when she had to flee Albert Square when as her life fell apart.

“When I got the call from John (Yorke, the soap’s creative director) asking if I would consider coming back to EastEnders, it was something I just couldn’t refuse.

“John created Mel’s most memorable storylines so it is an honour that he has asked me to return. EastEnders is in my DNA and I always knew deep down that someday I would revisit Mel; she is a strong independent woman with lots more stories to tell.

“To be stepping back into Mel’s shoes nearly twenty years after I first started feels just perfect.”

Mel suffered a string of traumas before her 2002 exit. If losing her beloved husband, Steve Owen, was not enough for Mel, his web of deceit and lies were soon uncovered and Mel found herself facing a long stretch in prison as she was unknowingly implicated in her late husband’s drug dealing.

As many other betrayals, by those closest to her, came to light Mel took desperate measures and she fled the country, losing Phil the small matter of her £30,000 bail money in the process…

Tamzin became something of a soap legend and was involved in some of the soap’s most famous storylines, notably the Who Shot Phil plot.

John Yorke, Creative Director, EastEnders said “Tamzin is one of EastEnders’ biggest stars, so it’s particularly exciting to welcome her back to Walford for an incredible storyline – one that will awaken a lot of old ghosts, some great memories, and a whole new series of adventures too. We’re thrilled and flattered to have Tamzin back and we can’t wait to reveal just where she’s been, and just who Melanie Owen is now”.

Since leaving EastEnders, Tamzin Outhwaite has gone on to star in countless television, film and theatre roles including Out of Control, Red Cap, New Tricks and Sweet Charity.