Sunday 20 October 2019

EastEnders’ returning Tamzin Outhwaite is not as ‘up to speed’ as last time

The star said the pace of soap filming has sped up over the last 16 years.

Olivier Awards 2015 – London
Olivier Awards 2015 – London

By Francesca Gosling, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Returning EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite has admitted she is not as “up to speed” as she used to be after a near 16-year absence from the show.

The actress, who famously played Melanie Owen, is soon to return to the BBC One soap with her never-before-seen teenage son Hunter (Charlie Winter) in tow.

Last seen in Walford in April 2002, the 47-year-old confessed that it has been tougher to keep up with the fast-paced production routine this time around.

“It’s much faster now, I’m treating it as a whole new job,” she told the Radio Times magazine.


“And I’m older, so my memory’s not as good. I’m not as up to speed as I could be. But they’re ramping things up slowly.”

She continued: “Sometimes you’re walking about with 16 scripts in your hand and flitting between all of them. It’s relentless and dealing with it is a skill in itself.”

Outhwaite’s original four-year stint on the show, after she first stepped onto Albert Square in 1998, saw Melanie embroiled in a series of dramatic storylines, including two marriages and a kidnapping, as well as a secret affair with Steve McFadden’s Phil Mitchell.

The mother-of-two agreed to reprise her role after being approached by returning EastEnders producer John Yorke.

After securing roles in New Tricks, Doctor Who and Hotel Babylon, she said: “That climb up the career ladder just doesn’t exist. I feel I’ve achieved everything I set out to achieve, as far as work goes.

“I really do feel that I’ve been extremely lucky and have almost been chancing it a bit… so the rest is now a bonus.”

Radio Times out now.

But, she added: “Once you get into your 40s, you’re no longer leading-lady age. Generally, those roles get offered to women in their 20s and 30s.”

:: Radio Times is out now

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