Stacey Branning is to make a shock return to Albert Square after three years away from Walford. Last seen fleeing the country after Janine exposed her as Archie Mitchell’s killer, Stacey is set to make her reappearance in early 2014.
Lacey Turner, who originally played Stacey from 2004 to 2010, said of her decision to reprise the role: “I may have left EastEnders over three years ago but the show has always been in my heart, as has Stacey, and she has never really left my side. I am so excited about returning and seeing what the future holds for her. It’s been a while since I set foot in Albert Square and I am looking forward to coming home.”
Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “Stacey is one of EastEnders’s best-loved characters, played by one of television’s finest actors and I am tremendously excited that Lacey has decided to return home to Walford. Stacey’s last time on the Square was iconic. But that was just the first act. There is so much more to come for Stacey – and her return will send ripples of drama through the Square.”
During her original stint, Turner won over 30 awards, including Best Newcomer, Best Actress and Most Popular Actress at the National TV awards and British Soap Awards, and received praise from the Metal Health in the Media Awards for her portrayal of Stacey’s bi-polar disorder. Among the character’s other high-profile storylines were her affair with father-in-law Max Branning (memorably exposed in the 2007 Christmas Day episode) and the revelation during the soap’s live 25th anniversary special that Stacey was the one to have murdered Archie Mitchell.
As well as rejoining EastEnders in January, Turner will also be filming a five-part series of Our Girl following a successful BBC1 pilot that was shown back in March.
See Stacey’s original farewell below: