The return of EastEnders legends Lofty Holloway (Tom Watt) and Mary ‘the punk’ Smith (Linda Davidson) for the first time in 30 years airs on Tuesday 19 February when they attend the funeral of beloved GP Dr Harold Legg (Leonard Fenton), who passes away on screen this week.
Dr Legg succumbs to pancreatic cancer in Friday 15 February’s episode with old friend Dot Branning (June Brown) at his side in what promises to be an emotional send-off for one of EastEnders’ most iconic characters, who featured in the very first episode back in 1985.
On what will be the day of the soap’s 34th anniversary the following Tuesday, two more faces from the original cast show up in the Queen Vic to pay their respects to the much-missed medic in the shape of lovable loser Lofty, and hard-faced single mum Mary.
Reunited with old neighbours Dot, as well as Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) and Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), the gang reminisce about dear departed Harold and raise a glass to Walford’s favourite doc.
When did Lofty and Mary last appear in EastEnders?
Discussing his comeback Watt, who left in April 1988, said: “I have nothing but good memories of my time on EastEnders and was delighted when (the show’s executive consultant) John Yorke asked me if I would return – Dr Legg is an iconic character so it feels fitting that Lofty should return to say goodbye.”
Davidson’s alter ego left a few weeks after Lofty’s exit in May 1988 boarding a bus out of Walford with daughter Annie, who returns all grown up played by actress Marilyn O’Brien. “EastEnders was my first proper family,” Davidson has said. “It gave me stability and a fantastic foundation from which to build an incredible life. The people I met have been a consistent thread throughout the intervening years. I am thrilled and proud to be returning.”
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