EastEnders has confirmed a major format change for a special episode in March.


The BBC One soap will reveal what happened when a pregnant Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) and partner Zack Hudson (James Farrar) visited Whit’s adopted mother Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) in Milton Keynes.

Fans will recall that Whitney and Zack left Walford for a trip to Milton Keynes in January and have not been seen on-screen since.

In an episode airing on Monday 4th March 2024 events across the preceding five weeks will be shown to bring us up to speed on what has kept Whitney and Zack away from the Square.

While initially turning up to comfort Bianca following her split from long-term partner Terry Spraggan, Whitney becomes embroiled in the dramas of a local child named Britney (Scrapper star Lola Campbell).

More like this

Aware that Britney has been neglected as a result of her mother Keeley (Kirsty J Curtis) struggling with addiction, Whitney forges a bond with Britney and wants to help her.

Speaking of the special episodes, executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: "We’re thrilled to welcome the immensely talented Lola Campbell to the cast of EastEnders as she takes on the role of Britney.

"The special episodes, which coincide with Patsy Palmer’s return, will showcase five weeks’ worth of storyline as we follow Whitney and Zack during their time in Milton Keynes, but it’s not long before the pair are thrust into the heart of the drama after Whitney grows concerned for Britney’s wellbeing."

Natalie Cassidy as Sonia Fowler and Patsy Palmer as Bianca Jackson stand in the street with coats on and hair tied back for EastEnders.
Jackson sisters: Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy, centre) and big sister Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer, right) are reunited. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

However, Whitney’s kind heart also throws her into harm's way as she attempts to save Britney’s life and ends up hit by a car!

While it seems Whitney and her unborn child will pull through OK, Zack is less than keen on Whitney's crusade to help troubled Britney.

Could this drive Whitney and Zack apart?

Meanwhile, the return of Bianca also means she will be bringing Whitney up to speed on her life – and she even has a reunion with sister Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy).

Patsy Palmer is reprising the role of Bianca for a short stint in the run-up to Shona McGarty departing the soap and her role as Whitney Dean after 14 years.

Read more:

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.