Sharon Rickman is in for a shock start to 2013 when she receives two surprise marriage proposals.
Both Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) will be seen vying for Sharon’s affections after Phil makes it plain to his love rival that he intends to win her back.
Phil and Sharon were, of course, at the centre of a 1994 storyline dubbed “Sharongate” in which Sharon confessed on tape that she had slept with Phil when still married to his brother Grant.
In recent months, viewers have seen her agree to pose as Phil’s fiancé in order to gain a residency order for Lola’s baby Lexi, a ruse that has riled Sharon’s current boyfriend Jack.
Letitia Dean, who returned to the role of Sharon in August 2012, said of Phil’s surprise proposal: “It’s a duff-duff moment – she is absolutely stunned and completely speechless. I can’t say whether she says yes or not. You’ll have to wait and see. Will she say yes to either of them?”
Of the attractions of Sharon’s two sparring suitors, the actress went on to add: “Sharon has always had a great fondness for Phil and he has always been there for her. She is very comfortable around him and they have a lot of history between them. She has never wondered about whether she loves him as marrying him is not something that has ever crossed her mind until now.
“Jack she’s liked from the moment she met him. He is a lovely man and a great dad to Amy. He is kind, generous and very loving. They get on extremely well and have a lot of fun together. Their relationship is still really new and fresh.”
Fans will able to see how the proposals play out in an hour-long episode on New Year’s Day at 8pm on BBC1.