EastEnders is bringing back Bianca Jackson, five years after actress Patsy Palmer made her last appearance.
The Albert Square icon makes a mercy dash to her old neighbourhood to be reunited with youngest daughter Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith) for a guest stint in a dramatic new storyline in the autumn. Viewers have seen troubled teen Tiff be groomed by a drug dealing gang which led to her going on the run and becoming the victim of a sexual assault.
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The comeback coup has been masterminded by the BBC soap’s executive producer Jon Sen, who says: “When I joined the show in January, bringing Bianca Jackson back to the Square was high on my wish-list.
“I’m thrilled Patsy has agreed to return to reprise her iconic creation in a blistering storyline that will grip fans this autumn. There is no one more excited than me to see her step back into Albert Square again. I simply cannot wait.”
Who is Bianca Jackson and when was she last in EastEnders?
Palmer first appeared as a the gobby, puffa-jacket wearing loudmouth in 1994 as part of the legendary Jackson clan, alongside sister Sonia Jackson (Natalie Cassidy) and brother Robbie Jackson (Dean Gaffney) – who are both still in the show – and mum Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson).
Bianca’s rollercoaster romance with Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen) became an instant hit with fans, creating one of the most beloved couples in the soap’s history and coining the redhead’s ubiquitous catchphrase of shouting ‘RICKKAAAYYY!’ at her other half at high volume across the Square.
Palmer left in 1999 but returned in 2008, when Bianca had four kids in tow including stepdaughter Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), who it transpired was being sexually abused by Bianca’s current partner Tony King (Chris Coghill).
Ricky and Bianca briefly reunited, marrying again in 2010 on EastEnders’ 25th anniversary, but it didn’t last and she ended up finding happiness with chirpy cabbie Terry Spraggan (Terry Alderton), waving farewell to the East End once more in 2014 when they moved from Walford to Milton Keynes with their brood.
Fans have questioned the character’s absence during Tiffany’s recent hard-hitting storyline, but with the schoolgirl seemingly successfully extricated from the gang, it’s not yet clear what brings her mother home – is Tiff set to be fall back in with the bad crowd?
Off screen, Palmer moved her family – she is a real-life mother of four – to Los Angeles five years ago where she has been working as a DJ.
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