EastEnders: Lisa Faulkner on Fi, Tracey’s sacking and working with Danny Dyer

Walford's newest arrival teases what's to come in the weeks ahead

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Businesswoman Fi Browning has certainly had a big effect on life in Walford – and she’s only been on EastEnders for two episodes! Tonight’s drama saw her recommend that the Queen Vic makes some staff cutbacks – the result being that Albert Square icon has been given the boot. But is this just the start of the ructions? Actress Lisa Faulkner gives us some hints of what’s to come:

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So, Fi insisted on cutbacks – and now Tracey has been sacked! How do you feel about this firing of an EastEnders icon?
Well, what’s  funny is that Fi doesn’t know anyone, so she doesn’t care. It’s just a business to her. She gets other people to do the jobs that aren’t particularly nice – in this case, Woody –  so she comes out of it not as badly as she could do. I think she knows how to get people to do what she wants.

Will she rub people up the wrong way?
She’s somebody not to be messed with. At the moment, she wants everybody on her side, so she can do the job that needs to be done. I don’t think she’s intentionally trying to rub anyone up the wrong way – she just wants people to do the jobs she needs doing. But there’ll definitely be more clashes with the Carters.

Was it daunting to be in the Queen Vic?
The Vic is miles more daunting than I thought it would be. I’ve watched EastEnders for years, so I knew the Vic was iconic. So I asked the producers if I could come in before I shot a scene in there, just to watch some filming. Once I filmed a scene in there, it turned out to be great fun because the cast was so lovely. So I was worried for about five minutes.

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They say never work with animals – and yet you had your first scene with Lady Di! How was that?
I was really pleased to be with the dog. I’ve just got a puppy, so I was happy to have the dog to act with. She’s lovely. And it was nice to have something else to think about – if the dog went wrong, it was nothing to do with me.

What can we expect to see from Fi over the coming weeks?
She’s a slow burn. She’s come in to do the job that she’s assigned to do, which is to help get the pub back on track. So, she’s in there coming up with tsuggestions. By the end of the few weeks, you won’t know anything more than that. 

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So there are no family ties?
No. When I got the part, everyone was asking who she was related to. And all I could say was that she was in the Vic. But we’ll see how that develops.

There does seem to be some hint of collusion with Woody and Max, though – are you enjoying those teases?
I enjoy any moment that’s thrown at me. It’s funny to do a soap because they don’t tell you everything – all you get are bits and pieces. I wouldn’t say I was kept in the dark – I know what’s going on. But there are moments that take you by surprise. That’s the fun of it.

Who are you enjoying working with?
It’s lovely working with Danny Dyer because I’ve known him for 20 years. And I’ve known Kellie Bright a long time too – so I’m looking forward to working with her when she comes back. Linda Henry is terrific. And Tish Dean makes me laugh so much, so I’d like more scenes with her.

Having been killed off in both Holby City and Spooks, are you worried that Fi will go the same way?
I begged to die on Holby – I wanted to have this gruesome death. And it’s only afterwards that you really realise it means you can never come back, even if you wanted to. I loved what happened on Spooks – to be part of that series was fantastic. With EastEnders, I’m having a lovely time. I didn’t expect to love it quite so much. So I’m hoping she doesn’t die very soon.

At least the deep-fat fryer in Beale’s Plaice is out of action!
I know. I hope that means I’m safe for now…

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.

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