EastEnders shocked fans last night by announcing Melanie Owen is to return after 15 years, but not everyone is happy about it...
The return of Melanie Owen to EastEnders after more than 15 years has sparked mixed reactions among viewers.
Tuesday night’s episode of the BBC One soap finally revealed the news after previously teasing a big announcement.
Melanie, played by Tamzin Outhwaite, was last seen in Albert Square in 2002.
Viewers first met the character in October 1998, and she went on to marry Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) and Steve Owen (Martin Kemp).
But the news of her return left some fans, who held their own hopes for which former characters might be returning to the show, underwhelmed.
One wrote: “I loved Mel, but I would have been more excited if it was Tanya,” while another pleaded: “Can you please bring back Janine, she was the Best Villain!! #EastEnders.”
Another said: “Not one I remember fondly at all. Each to their own and all that.”
Meanwhile, others were delighted with the news, as one person posted: “A true throwback to vintage EastEnders! Great surprise.”
Another person commented: “Omg yess Mel’s back so happy right now,” while one said: “Okay okay… you did it. You shocked me, amazing actress! Amazing to have her back!”
Outhwaite, 46, said of her return to the programme: “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 20 years after I first started feels just perfect.”
Among her most dramatic storylines, Melanie’s union with Ian Beale was short-lived when she discovered he had lied to her about his child’s illness to get her to marry him.
She had a romantic dalliance with Dan Sullivan (played by Craig Fairbrass), who later kidnapped her, and had a secret liaison with Steve’s enemy, Phil Mitchell (played by Steve McFadden).
In true EastEnders style, a pregnant Melanie exited on a high note leaving Phil to pick up her debts.