EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth has spoken about reprising her role of Kathy Beale in the serial.
Speaking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on today’s This Morning the actress revealed that she felt emotional when approached to return, although originally thought it was just to do a fun sketch or to present a cake to Adam Woodyatt.
“I thought it was presenting Adam with a cake for 30 years or doing a funny sketch for them… but I couldn’t believe it. They went through what the storyline was and afterwards I went outside and just burst into tears! It was quite a shock, I really didn’t think it would happen.”
She also talked about filming with Adam – who plays her on-screen son Ian – for the first time since her return, noting that it was also an emotional experience.
“The first time we did a scene together he started crying… and he made me cry and it’s been quite an emotional journey for the pair of us, it really has. But it’s lovely to do scenes with him and Letitia [Dean] and Steve [McFadden]… it just feels like I’m back home!”
Gillian – who is also known for regular stints in Footballers Wives, The Bill, and Hollyoaks – added of the claims that she now looks younger than Adam,
“Adam has been doing this show for 30 years whereas I’ve had lots of time off,”
When asked how long she is planning to be in Albert Square, she said,
“I’m hoping it’ll be a long term thing…it’s lovely. I’m hoping I won’t be killed off for good!” She joked, “[So] I’m not walking along any canal banks, I’m not doing anything like that at all! I’m just going to be very careful.”
Kathy appeared in the first episode of EastEnders on 19th February 1985 and went on to feature in several high-profile storylines over an initial 13 year stint in the square. These included being raped by James Wilmott-Brown and a turbulent marriage to alcoholic Phil who is the father of her youngest son Ben.
Gillian secretly reprised her iconic role in a live scene during one of the soap’s 30th anniversary episodes back in February nine years after viewers were told that Kathy had met her maker in an off-screen car crash in South Africa; a plot which facilitated the re-introduction of Ben to storylines.
Prior to her off-screen demise, Kathy’s last appearance was in 2000 when she attended Ian’s wedding to Mel Healey.
Viewers will find out the truth behind Kathy’s ‘fake death’ in the autumn, the beeb note.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV. EastEnders airs on BBC One, Mondays at 8.00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm and Fridays at 8.00pm.