EastEnders Nicola Stapleton reveals to Soaplife how Mandy’s vicious mum does the nasty on Mandy and could cost her the happiness she has found with Ian…

Lucy thought that she was inviting Mandy’s secret lover to Walford – instead they’ve been landed with Mandy’s mum-from-hell Lorraine. And worried Mandy reckons she can do more damage than the appearance of a mystery man. “Lorraine says lots of nasty things about Mandy,” Nicola tells Soaplife. But when she warns Ian to ‘Get out now before it’s too late’, will she poison his mind against Mandy for ever?

If her mum is so bad, why is Mandy letting her stay around?
“You find kids who have had a traumatic upbringing often have a strong bond between them and the abusive parent. It’s like a hold Lorraine has over Mandy.”

Couldn’t she just tell Ian how awful Lorraine really is?
“She could, but she’s embarrassed. Her mum is uncouth, loud and brash – all the things Mandy’s struggling not to be. When Lorraine steals money from Ian, Mandy covers for her. Seeing Mandy’s mum helps explain why Mandy is constantly looking for love, praise and acceptance.”

Is Mandy marrying Ian for his money?
“We don’t know. What we do know, though, is that they’re starting to build a nice companionship and they’re actually having a laugh together. It’s working out nicely for the pair of them.”

Is she worried Lorraine will ruin things?
“Yes. She’s very worried. She’s mainly concerned that the nice little normal life she’s creating, and which she really wants, is in jeopardy.”

What happens when Mandy comes home to find Lorraine drunk?
“They argue about the past and Lorraine taunts Mandy, saying men don’t fall for women like her. Then she viciously grabs Mandy’s face. They’re quite dark scenes.”

Ian gives Lorraine every chance and suggests it will help to go out for a family meal. How does it go?
“Lucy overhears Lorraine being cruel to Mandy and tells Ian it was Lorraine who stole his money. Ian’s stunned, but Lorraine turns on him about his relationship with Mandy. It’s really spiteful and Mandy sees red and throws a drink over Lorraine.”

Ian chucks Lorraine out, but her parting shot is to tell him Mandy’s been married lots of times. Is Ian worried?
“Lorraine says a lot of nasty things when she realises Mandy’s serious about not wanting her around. When Ian sees how dysfunctional Mandy’s relationship is with her mum, he worries he has another Cindy on his hands.”

Will Mandy and Ian make it up the aisle?
“I don’t know. There are plenty of wedding dresses, that’s for sure. I think it would work just as well if they weren’t married, although if they did get the big happy ending that would be sweet.”