Belfast Telegraph

It was surreal working with Lucy Benjamin, says EastEnders’ Tilly Keeper

The actress has made a comeback after 15 years away and is set to ruffle some feathers in Walford.

EastEnders star Tilly Keeper said it was “surreal” working with her on-screen mother Lucy Benjamin for the first time.

Benjamin, who plays Lisa Fowler, has returned to the BBC One soap for a short stint and was seen making her surprise comeback at the end of Friday’s episode.

Lisa has returned to Albert Square to be by her daughter Louise Mitchell’s side in hospital after the teen was pushed onto lit candles by bully Alexandra D’Costa (Sydney Craven) and engulfed in flames at her school prom.

Keeper, who has played Louise – the daughter of Lisa and Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) – since January 2016, said she was “really excited” to discover Benjamin was coming back to the programme.

Keeper said: “I’ve always wanted to meet Lucy. The girls who’ve played Louise before me have all got to work with her and it was something I really wanted to do.

“It was so lovely to meet her. I knew we would get on as soon as we met. Just from what I’d heard from other cast, such as Letitia (Dean), I knew she was brilliant. I loved her straight away.”

Keeper said “it was a bit surreal” to work with Benjamin and added: “It was very different to anything I’ve experienced on EastEnders.

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Lucy Benjamin returns to EastEnders (BBC)

“Everyone works so hard on EastEnders but there was just something different about this, she was so incredible.

“She really switched something on in me, without sounding cheesy.”

Keeper said: “I kind of had this ‘oh, that’s how you do it’ moment. You have different experiences and learn different things when you work with different actors.

“But I think because this was so new and fresh, and we had to get the relationship right straight away and we were just so comfortable together from the beginning, it just felt special.

“We wanted to do the storyline justice. It’s Lisa’s return. It’s massive. As soon as I joined, people started saying to me ‘where’s Lisa?’ so it’s lovely that we finally got to do it. I just felt so comfortable working with her.”

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Tilly Keeper (Matt Crossick/PA)

Benjamin, who originally appeared in the soap from 1998 until 2003 and was involved in the popular Who Shot Phil? storyline, will appear in the programme in several episodes in the coming weeks.

New pictures show Lisa’s reunion with her hospitalised daughter, who she has not seen for some years, and Keeper has said viewers should expect drama between the pair.

She said: “Let’s just say it’s going to be a rough few weeks for Louise.

“She has a lot to deal with. There’s going to be lots of drama.”

EastEnders continues on Monday at 8pm on BBC One.

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