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Kathy Beale clashes with Sharon Mitchell in explosive EastEnders return


Gillian Taylforth reprises her EastEnders role as Kathy Beale

Gillian Taylforth reprises her EastEnders role as Kathy Beale

Gillian Taylforth reprises her EastEnders role as Kathy Beale

Kathy Beale's EastEnders return is being properly cemented by a brawl with Sharon Mitchell - and actress Gillian Taylforth loved every minute of it.

Speaking about Kathy's explosive return to Albert Square, Taylforth spoke about filming the scene with actress Letitia Dean (who plays Sharon) and said: "I loved it!."

Kathy is returning after having "died" in a car accident in South Africa in 2006.

The show's executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said they had agreed to only bring Kathy back if they could create a credible storyline for her return.

"It was about going back to our history, bringing back a Beale matriarch who we all want to see," he explained.

In new pictures released, a suspicious Sharon comes face to face with Kathy, and the result is nothing short of a classic soap moment.

Taylforth's return was kept under lock and key, so much so that the only person she told was her partner.

"I obviously had to tell my partner, because I was disappearing at 11 o'clock at night and I was worried he thought I might have got a new job down at King's Cross or something," she said.

Her ex-flame Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) has known she's alive for nearly three years and has kept it to himself.

But one thing's for sure, the repercussions of her return are going to ripple through Albert Square.

"The reaction we're holding off is the reaction from Ian (Beale) and Ben (Mitchell). They're the two most exciting people," said Treadwell-Collins.

"It's big, heavy, heavy stuff. And then throwing into the mix Jane as well, because we always said, Ian's married a woman like his mum, and oh, how would Jane and Kathy get on?

"And Jane and Kathy aren't going to get on ... and it's all quite sparky."

Viewers got their first glimpse of Kathy in February this year, during a live segment for the 30th anniversary episode of the show.

Adam Woodyatt, who plays Kathy's son Ian, revealed he calls Taylforth mum on and off screen.

"My daughter even calls her Nana! I've always called her mum," he said, "Funnily enough, one of the reasons I always call Gill mum was so that when we were filming something I didn't slip up and call her Gill."

Kathy's currently married to Gavin Sullivan (played by Just Good Friends star Paul Nicholas), although the couple are estranged.

Treadwell-Collins describes Gavin as "the most manipulative and dangerous villain EastEnders has ever had. He makes Archie Mitchell look like a Care Bear."

PA Media