New EastEnders star Kellie Bright is about to start behind the bar of the Queen Vic as landlady Linda Carter, but she has already made her debut on the soap – more than 25 years ago.
The actress, who teams up with on-screen husband Danny Dyer and children Johnny (Sam Strike) and Nancy (Maddy Hill), was also nearly cast as Tanya Branning, but was beaten to the role by Jo Joyner.
She said: “I was at Michelle and Lofty’s wedding in I think it was ’86, I was 10 and I was a little girl at the wedding and I had to ask to go to the toilet and ran up the aisle and back down again.
“I was talking to Letitia Dean the other day about it.
“I said ‘Have I told you?’ and she said ‘I was a bridesmaid’ and then went on to describe her full frock.”
Meanwhile, EastEnders’ boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins said he wants to get more older characters on screen and give the show ‘its balls back’.
The executive producer, who joined in July after a slump in the ratings, said the show should be ‘feral’ and ‘untamed’.
He said: “Everyone says EastEnders is miserable. It’s not miserable, life though is difficult, life is difficult and EastEnders reflects that and EastEnders shows that when life is difficult you pick yourself up, you brush yourself down and put on a smile and keep going.”
Treadwell-Collins said he already had plans for the show’s 30th anniversary in February 2015 and there would be ‘big stories’ coming up for characters including Phil Mitchell, Sharon Rickman and Denise Fox.
He said: “Maybe our biggest story is for the Beale family, a big, big story that will hit around Easter and keep going until the anniversary and shock and involve and entertain and hopefully make the nation weep and give Adam Woodyatt, who’s a brilliant actor and a lovely man, the chance to shine.”