Cast and crew are finally back to work on the set of EastEnders as of 29th June, including Jessie Wallace (Kat Moon) and Lacey Turner (Stacey Fowler) who had both been absent since before lockdown paused production.
Both stars were spotted arriving at the Elstree studios sparking speculation they are reprising their roles when the soap returns later this summer. Wallace was reportedly suspended in January, although the BBC never officially commented, and Kat was swiftly written out in March, when she received an urgent phone call and left Walford claiming she was needed elsewhere.
Turner has been on maternity leave since last summer (she gave birth to a girl, Dusty Violet, in July 2019) and made her last appearance on screen in October 2019.
It’s unconfirmed if the sassy Slaters were at the studios to film new episodes or for a meeting to discuss their return, but either way it’s got us thinking about the unfinished business Kat and Stacey left behind that requires resolving – and the exciting impact of their eventual returns…
Where has Kat actually been?
Did we ever actually find out who was on the other end of that frantic phone call that caused Kat to flee the Vic and abandon Kush and the kids? Forgive us, but we don’t think we did. Whatever the reason for her hurried exit, we are desperate to know where Kat went after that worrying conversation. Was it to help Stacey, who had already left town? Little Mo? Lynne? Belinda? Zoe? Maybe Kat returns with one of her long-lost sisters in tow?
How will Stacey feel if Martin moves on with Ruby?
Martin Fowler made his wife believe he’d cheated on her with ex-spouse Sonia Fowler to keep her away from Walford and Ben Mitchell’s threats of reprisals for the attack on Phil Mitchell, so Stace went and got herself a new fella. At the time Martin had not actually been unfaithful, but has since bedded Son and Stacey’s BFF Ruby Allen. Fans expect that one-night stand to have blossomed into a full-on romance by the time EastEnders returns, which is surely going to be awks all round…
Is Stacey bringing new man Jerome back with her?
Mrs Fowler’s new love interest Jerome (they met on the school run) came to the Square in November 2019 to collect some of her things from the Slater house, and had an unsurprisingly tense exchange with Martin. Stacey asked for a divorce a few months later and as far as we know her and Jerome are still a thing – could he be returning as a regular alongside Stacey?
Could Stacey get back together with Max?
Back to Ruby, and her fling with Stacey’s old flame Max Branning caused some ripples of weirdness before Mrs F left. Their icky age-gap romance is pretty much dead in the water which means Max is a free agent again, his marriage of convenience to Rainie also finished. It’s not unfeasible that Stacey and Max end up back in each others’ arms, which would really rile Martin – and prove that Max only hooked up with Ruby to make Stacey jealous as she’s the real love of his life…
Can Kat and Stacey help Jean?
We are very, very worried about poor Jean Slater. As EastEnders ran out of episodes the troubled soul had banished Kush and Big Mo from the house after their ill-advised intervention, had stopped taking her bipolar medication and started to think dead lover Daniel Cooke was still alive. Has Jean been spending lockdown alone as her fragile mental health spirals? Are Kat and Stacey summoned back home to try and persuade her to get the help she desperately needs?
Will Phil ever find out Stacey attacked him?
Mr Mitchell senior still thinks it was Kat who whacked him over the head in the Arches almost a year ago, having initially thought it was Keanu Taylor thanks to Ben’s attempted framing, but Mrs Moon is covering for her cousin. Ben and Martin also know the truth, and the whole knotty business a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off…