Gillian Taylforth would be keen to see Kathy Beale's own relatives make a comeback to EastEnders.


The BBC One soap favourite was an original cast member of the show since its inception in 1985 and despite Kathy being killed off-screen in 2006, made a return to the soap in 2015 and has been part of the show ever since.

However, Kathy's own blood relatives - the Hills - have not been in the show since 1999 following the exits of the family.

In her backstory, Kathy was one of many siblings and the soap introduced her older brother Ted Hills (Barry Croucher) and his children Tony (Mark Homer) and Sarah (Daniela Denby-Ashe) in 1995.

However, Ted was written out in 1997, while Tony and Sarah experienced some dramatic storylines before each departed the show in 1999.

Kathy left Walford to live with Ted in South Africa in 1998, while Tony settled in Amsterdam with partner Simon Raymond (Andrew Lynford) and Sarah left for university and later reunited with love interest Joe Wicks (Paul Nicholls).

Little has been discussed of the Hills since, even after Kathy had married evil Gavin Sullivan (Paul Nicholas) in South Africa and he forced her to fake her own death.

Yet, in the run-up to Kathy's wedding, Ted and Tony both got a mention when Rocky Cotton (Brian Conley) had a look through Kathy's old address book.

Brian Croucher as Ted Hills in EastEnders.
Brian Croucher as Ted Hills in EastEnders. BBC

So, when actress Gillian Taylforth spoke with and other press, we asked her whether she would like to see Kathy's own relatives make a return to the soap.

"Yeah, Ted. That would be nice, yeah, because that's why [Kathy] went over to South Africa to see Ted," recalled Taylforth.

"So yeah, that would be nice if the Hills came in, you know. That would be nice. And who knows? Who knows if there are other relatives out there? Yeah, that would be lovely...and I hadn't thought about that for a long time."

Mark Homer as Tony Hills in EastEnders.
Mark Homer as Tony Hills in EastEnders. BBC

Meanwhile, they aren't the only returns that Taylforth would be keen to see as she was asked about other faces she would be keen to see back.

On seeing Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) back in the soap again, Taylforth said: "Again, I saw Jackie you know, at the funeral and that was lovely. And I obviously didn't see what she was doing with Tom and that."

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She then noted that she'd like to Lisa Fowler (Lucy Benjamin) to return for another stint in the soap after she returns this summer, noting: "We got Lucy Benjamin and that was great. It was lovely, that. I didn't get to do anything with her when she came back last time. So that'd be really good to see her again and work with Lucy."

Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor and Lucy Benjamin as Lisa Fowler in EastEnders
Lucy Benjamin as Lisa Fowler in EastEnders. BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

When discussing whether we could see Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith) return to the soap after her exit in early 2022, Taylforth noted that Smith's other commitments might get in the way.

"Tiffany, yeah, little Maisie. Oh, she's so busy at the moment," noted the actess. "Yeah, you do't whether when she could ever get back because she's so busy working...and that would be nice. She's a lovely girl, really lovely."

Finally, Taylforth also showed enthusiasm to see a comeback for Milly Zero in the role of Rocky's troublesome niece, Dotty Cotton, who departed in December last year.

Milly Zero as Dotty Cotton in EastEnders
Milly Zero as Dotty Cotton in EastEnders BBC

Taylforth said: "I really liked little Milly Zero, brilliant little Milly who played Dotty. We had some lovely stuff together, you know, obviously with the Rocky-Dotty relationship. So that was great to do."

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EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.

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