EastEnders’ Lucy Benjamin never thought she’d return and promises ‘twists’ for viewers
She’s one of Albert Square’s favourite characters and she’s back to cause a stir.
Lucy Benjamin made a surprise return to EastEnders in Friday’s episode as Lisa Fowler after 15 years, but coming back to the soap was something she had never thought would happen.
The actress appeared in the BBC soap from 1998 until 2003 as Phil Mitchell’s (Steve McFadden) partner, with whom she had a volatile relationship, and was involved in the programme’s iconic whodunit Who Shot Phil? storyline.
Viewers saw Benjamin return as Lisa rushed to see her daughter Louise Mitchell (Tilly Keeper), who was seriously injured at the school prom.
But the soap star, 47, said she never thought she would make a return to the serial drama, saying that she closed “that chapter” of her career.
She said: “You don’t live your life thinking ‘I wonder if’. When I’m out shopping people come up and say ‘Oh, Louise is having a terrible time, Lisa should be back’, and I just went ‘oh that’s very sweet’ but didn’t that anything more of it.
“So no, I hadn’t really thought about it.”
Benjamin said that being on the set of the Walford-based soap again has reminded her how much she “loved the workload”.
“As much as it’s hard, I love the craft so much and working to that extent,” she said.
“It was great to get my teeth back into doing what I do, really. And then seeing my old friends was charming.
“It’s hard to stay in touch because that’s what actors are like, you move on to the next job, but it was lovely to revisit friends.”
Benjamin has promised plenty of plot twists in the coming weeks as she reintegrates into her daughter’s life after abandoning her.
She said: “There’s lots of drama, there’s lots of twists and turns you don’t see coming.
“I think there’s lots of history and you’ll see a lot of old Lisa being played out. You’ll see that character there ready to come out and do some stuff the viewers recognise from before.
“It’s good old kitchen sink drama with the relationships people love. There’s some great stuff with Phil and Lisa, and Lisa and Sharon. There’s beautiful stuff with Sonia and Lisa. It’s reminiscent of historical stuff which is great.”
EastEnders continues on Monday at 8pm on BBC One.