Walford got a new vicar on tonight’s EastEnders when Reverend George Stevens (Michael Keating) left town after 12 years on screen, making way for Reverend Irene Mills (Melanie Kilburn).
Dot was seen looking shocked as Irene made her entrance in a scene reminiscent of Dawn French’s arrival in The Vicar of Dibley. But eagle-eyed viewers will have clocked that this isn’t the first time we’ve made Irene’s acquaintance.
The character actually made her first appearance in April this year as the prison chaplain who visited Shirley in her cell just prior to Sylvie Carter’s funeral.
In an emotional scene, Shirley was seen opening up to Irene about Sylvie being a terrible mother, with the chaplain ten suggesting that Shirl needed to mourn for the little girl she used to be.
Actress Melanie Kilburn has also appeared in rival soap Coronation Street, where she played Eve Sykes (later Elliott). She also portrayed PC Laura Bryant on The Bill, with other screen credits including Soldier Soldier and Making Out.
You can 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.