Wednesday 13 November 2019

Jessie Wallace: EastEnders fans still yell ‘You ain’t my mother’ at me

The actress is making her big comeback to Albert Square in the next few weeks.

Jessie Wallace said EastEnders fans still yell 'You ain't my mother' at her (Ian West/PA)
Jessie Wallace said EastEnders fans still yell 'You ain't my mother' at her (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

EastEnders star Jessie Wallace has said fans still yell “You ain’t my mother” at her on the street, mimicking one of the soap’s most famous scenes from more than 15 years ago.

In 2001, viewers watched as Michelle Ryan’s character Zoe Slater discovered that her sister Kat, played by Wallace, was actually her mother.

The truth came out as Zoe stormed across Albert Square and screamed, “You can’t tell me what to do! You ain’t my mother!”, to which a tearful Kat screeched back: “Yes I am!”


The moment has gone down in TV history, and Wallace – who is soon returning to the soap after leaving in January 2016 – said that fans have yet to forget it.

She told the Radio Times: “I still get people yelling at me in the street, ‘You ain’t my mother’ and asking me to say, ‘Yes, I am’, which is tough when you’re having a really bad day.

“At the time, it said in the script that I just had to say the line. But I was like, ‘No, Kat’s held this secret for 18 years, I’m going to scream it out’.”

Wallace, 46, said she really wants Ryan to to come back with her because “that would make for a brilliant storyline”.

Ryan left the serial drama in 2005 after five years, and has previously said she has no plans to reprise the role of Zoe.

Wallace has also admitted that it feels “weird” coming back to the set without Shane Richie, who played her husband Alfie.

“I’m sure he’s busy doing other stuff,” she said.

“I’m not sure what the writers have in store. What I’d like, though, is for Kat to be single for a while and for her to spend more time with the family.”

Kat was last seen in EastEnders spin-off Redwater last year, which saw Kat and Alfie head to Ireland to look for her long-lost son.


In the closing scenes of the series, Kat was cut to ribbons by the propeller of a boat she had fallen from, turning the water red with blood, while doctors battled for Alfie’s life in an operating theatre.

It was confirmed in December that Kat, along with her grandmother Mo Harris (Laila Morse) and her sister Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) would be returning to Walford in spring 2018.

Wallace, who has played the role of Kat on and off since 2000, promised that viewers will see the Slaters going back to their roots and being “scallywags”.

Asked about the fan reaction to the Slater family’s return, she said: “I’m hoping it’ll be good – I don’t want to walk through Sainsbury’s and get a fish slung in my face.”

She added: “I certainly haven’t stopped smiling since I started filming.

“It really does feel like coming home.”

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