Recommended second chance
EastEnders fans are in a state of high excitement as Sharon, one of the soap’s most popular characters ever, returns to Albert Square in a dramatic storyline. TV Choice caught up with actress Letitia Dean on set.
How does it feel to be back in EastEnders?
It doesn’t feel like I’ve been away.
Sharon’s done a runner from her wedding when she turns up on Phil’s doorstep. Presumably she was tying the knot nearby.
Yes, she went to America but has been back in England for the past four years and has a son, Dennis. I imagine the wedding venue’s in the vicinity. I don’t think she’s crossed London, not with the Olympic traffic! That would take another week of back-to-back episodes…
How does Phil react?
Well she turns up during his engagement party so he palms her off at Max’s house where she borrows some of Tanya’s clothes.
Is it true she has a fling with Jack?
Well it’s been one hell of a day and she’s all over the place. I think it’s taken her longer than she thought to get over her husband Dennis’ death, she’s been in a state of permanent grief really. She thought she had it all under control but Albert Square evokes so many memories.
Sharon has a moving storyline with Ian Beale who’s been sleeping rough.
Yes, he’s in a right mess. They’ve known each other since they were six or seven years of age and I’ve always imagined they’ve kept in contact with Christmas and birthday cards in the intervening years. It was so lovely to have those scenes with Adam Woodyatt. He said to me the other day, ‘It’s so great to have you back,’ which I thought was really sweet. It genuinely is nice to be back.
So what’s coming up for Sharon?
I only get my scripts 10 days in advance but I’m hoping I’ve got some cracking storylines. I want Sharon to have some nice girlfriends as well as some face offs.
She doesn’t get off to the best start with Shirley or Tanya…
I don’t think Shirley’s very keen on Sharon, I don’t think they’ll be bosom buddies but you never know. I’m hoping Sharon becomes friends with Tanya because she’s so fab.
Sharon’s now a mum, what are her parenting skills like?
I think she’s over protective. Dennis is played by the most adorable little boy called Harry Hickles. Isn’t that a great vaudeville name? He’s like my little mate and I can’t wait to see him every time he’s on set. The public will fall in love with him.
Do you have a pair of earrings or a piece of clothing that helps you nail the character?
Not really but we’ve made a conscious decision to keep Sharon in the Eighties vibe. So I think a few shoulder pads will be making an appearance. Even on her wedding day I think there’s a shoulder pad involved! You know you’re getting old when that era comes back to haunt you.
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