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Lucy Benjamin is set to make an all-guns-blazing return to Walford as Lisa Fowler after discovering that daughter Louise is pregnant.
Lisa, who memorably shot lover Phil Mitchell in 2001 – and got away with it – is returning to EastEnders to ensure her daughter is being properly looked after by her wayward dad.
The last time she appeared – in 2017 – sparks flew and she was sent packing by Phil after attempting to kidnap Louise.
And Lucy, 48, says she “couldn’t be more excited” about Lisa’s storyline and hooking up once again with cast and crew.
She said: “Going back to EastEnders feels like going home. I love and adore playing Lisa, and am looking forward to seeing what’s in store for her this time.”
Apart from her few appearances two years ago, Lisa has not been seen in Albert Square since she fled with Louise to Portugal in 2003.
The episode in which she was revealed as Phil’s would-be assassin in 2001 was watched by 22 million viewers. She attacked Phil, played by Steve McFadden, after learning he had slept with best mate Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite).
Pregnant with his daughter, she moved in with boyfriend Mark Fowler (Todd Carty) and passed the infant Louise off as his – until the truth came out.
Eighteen years on, Lisa’s daughter is now carrying Keanu Taylor’s child after deciding not to go ahead with an abortion arranged by Keanu’s older lover, Sharon Mitchell.
Mum Lisa’s return is timed so she can pitch in with her grandchild’s nappy-changing and help Louise with the sleepless nights.
The soap’s executive producer Jon Sen said fans would be delighted to see her back.
“Lisa is one of the most enduringly popular characters in the history of the show,” he said. “We’re chuffed Lucy has agreed to come back for a thrilling storyline that takes us into the heart of her past on the Square.”
Lucy is the latest in a long line of former favourites to beat a path back to the soap.
They include Letitia Dean as Sharon, Gillian Taylforth as Kathy Beale, Outhwaite as Mel, Jessie Wallace as Kat Moon and Shane Richie as her husband, Alfie. And last week it emerged Patsy Palmer will return as Bianca Jackson this summer.
Since quitting EastEnders Lucy has had parts in shows including comedy Detectorists, Casualty and New Tricks.
The actress, who once dated McFadden, is married to businessman Richard Taggart. They have two daughters, aged 12 and eight.
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