It's been a week of new additions in the world of Eastenders as Elaine Peacock (Harriet Thorpe) made her grand entrance in Albert Square.


Linda's mother is well and truly back in town but soap fans will know that this isn't our first meeting of the character, who was previously played by Maria Friedman. Although not a regular character, Friedman played the role of Elaine from 2014 to 2017 but has now been recast with Thorpe taking on the character.

In an interview with The Mirror, Thorpe admitted that she wasn't intimidated taking on the role after Friedman, pointing out that Barbara Windsor was actually the second actress to take on the role of Peggy Mitchell.

Dame Barbara Windsor

She said: “All the women who have played those roles have been iconic. But you can’t be like them, you have to find your own way to deliver that strength.

“Characters are re-birthed all the time, and that’s a tribute to the creativity the show has.”

Thorpe has had an extensive career on screen and on stage, starring in the likes of 90s sitcom The Brittas Empire, Absolutely Fabulous, Endeavour and Calendar Girls, to name a few appearances.

As for her role in Eastenders, Thorpe's Elaine is the new co-owner of The Queen Vic and is only set to put more spanners in the works as Linda and Sharon's friendship lays in the balance and the news of Mick's official death has only plummeted Linda deeper in her grief.

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But her soap character is one that she hopes will inspire, explaining: “I want to honour 65-year-old women today who are not little nannies with blue hair or a pencil skirt. Elaine is a forthright, amazing woman. She wears a pleather skirt and platform boots. She’s in your face."

Thorpe added: “I am who I am, my age is immaterial. And that’s also Elaine. She isn’t defined by a number. She can be forthright, strong, a businesswoman – and she’s fearless.”

As for how things will pan out for Albert Square's latest character, we're sure we've got a lot more drama to come with Elaine being seen to make secret phone calls to a mysterious man – but who could it be?

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Linda is already having a hard time coping with her mum's arrival, not to mention the fact that she has attempted to charm the men of Walford with free drinks. But will Linda be able to cope with a new man on the scene?

We do know that Elaine's previously-announced new partner, George Knight (Colin Salmon) is set to be joining the soap soon along with his two daughters, Gina and Anna, but will this spell fresh trouble for Linda and Elaine's own relationship?

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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