Returning EastEnders star Gillian Taylforth has promised high emotion and plenty of recrimination once Kathy makes her full-time return to the Square.
When asked to describe in three words what’s coming up for her character, Taylforth says: “Emotional. Life affirming. Guilt.”
Since her miraculous resurrection during the soap’s 30th anniversary back in February, Kathy has since been seen in a fleeting cameo, asking former husband Phil Mitchell for cash. And next week, Kathy will return once again during a scene at the Arches that will see her once again begging for help from Phil.
So with Kathy’s scenes having thus far been sporadic, has it been hard for Taylforth to get back into Kathy’s shoes? “No – once I did a couple of scenes with Steve McFadden and wore her jewellery, it was like I’d never been away. I can’t wait to do scenes in the Vic and the café – then I’ll think I’m home.”
EastEnders fans are obviously desperate for Kathy to be reintegrated fully into life in Walford. After all, it’s now been six months since Kathy stepped out of a taxi to give viewers one of the birthday week’s biggest shocks.
“It was very difficult keeping such a big secret,” Taylforth admits. “I couldn’t tell my children. I couldn’t tell my sister or the rest of my family. During the anniversary week, they were all saying how good EastEnders was and I just had to say nothing! When I came on screen, my brother just text saying, ‘what the…!’ I got so many messages from people saying that they couldn’t believe I was back.”
Upcoming episodes will see Phil’s nearest and dearest get closer to the truth about Kathy still being alive when they make a few shock discoveries. First Ben will find Kathy’s sunglasses in the Arches, a development that sees him tease his dad about having another woman But a further surprise is to come when Sharon confronts Phil about a mysterious contact on his mobile phone listed only as ‘K’.
By next Friday, Phil will be seen heading to St Pancras to meet with Kathy, only to be pursued by Ian and Sharon, the latter of whom is convinced that he is having an affair. So is Kathy’s big secret about to be blown? All Taylforth will say is that the scenes she’s filmed so far have given her the chance to work with stars of the show both old and new.
“It’s lovely being back, I’m really enjoying it. It’s lovely seeing some of the people I used to work with before and to meet the new people.” And what of Paul Nicholas, who we know will be playing Kathy’s ex-husband Gavin? “He was lovely. A really nice guy. We had some lovely stuff to do, both at an airfield and at the train station. So we were thrown into it straight away!”
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
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