Lisa Fowler made a surprise return to EastEnders in tonight’s episode as she rushed to daughter Louise Mitchell’s side following her horrific accident at the school prom.
Following last night’s dramatic cliffhanger where Louise was pushed by bully Alex D’Costa onto a row of lit candles, the Mitchell teen’s friends and family anxiously waited for news of her condition at the hospital.
Stepmum Sharon and best friend Bex Fowler heard that Louise would need a series of operations and skin grafts and it was unclear how bad her scarring would be in the long term.
There had been speculation that Lisa was to return as part of this storyline, but EastEnders did not confirm the character’s reappearance until she was on screen tonight.
Announcing that Lucy Benjamin was reprising her role for a short stint, a BBC spokesperson said: “Viewers will have to wait and see how Lisa’s return will go down with the Mitchell family, but after removing herself from Louise’s life it’s safe to say the reception will be anything but welcoming.
“With Phil’s return imminent, fans can expect fireworks when the former flames come face to face once more.”
Benjamin, speaking of her return, said: “It was great to be back as it had been such a long time since I’d been there. I loved being back at Elstree for a few weeks, seeing old friends again and working with really talented people. I loved every minute of it.”
Lisa Fowler has been involved with some of the soap’s most iconic storylines, the most famous being the ‘Who Shot Phil?’ mystery in 2001, where Lisa was revealed to have shot her ex at the height of their toxic relationship.
Benjamin joined EastEnders in 1998 and left the role in 2002 after fleeing Walford with baby Louise to escape Phil’s grip. She returned in a flashback episode in 2003 which showed Phil tracking her down in Portugal as he desperately tried to retrieve his daughter, before showing up in the Square later that year where she teamed up with Dirty Den Watts to make another attempt on Phil’s life, only to leave again shortly after.
The character was last seen briefly in 2010 when Peggy met with Lisa and, after a heated confrontation, agreed to let Louise live with her. Last year, teenager Louise came to live with the Mitchells as her relationship with her mother had broken down.
Phil returns next week to be with his recovering daughter, marking the first time he and Lisa have been on screen together in 14 years.
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.