Fans of EastEnders got a pretty big shock tonight (21st June 2023) when Cindy Beale (played by Michelle Collins) made a dramatic reappearance on the BBC soap.


Long-time viewers will remember she was killed off-screen in prison in 1998 – and while the reason she's back now is still a mystery, she's very much alive and beside a lovely-looking pool.

We also learned that Cindy had previously lived a life as Rose Knight, the now-missing wife of new Queen Vic landlord George Knight (Colin Salmon) and mother to his two daughters.

Speaking about her return to EastEnders 25 years after she left, Collins opened up on the surreal experience of heading back.

“We filmed everything on location about six weeks ago and I'm actually now filming back on the Square, so that felt very different," Collins told press including "Now I'm kind of right in there and it's surreal. It's very nerve-wracking, but it's also very exciting.”

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When asked if she had been asked back before and what convinced her to return, Collins confirmed it was executive producer Chris Clenshaw’s pitch that sold her.

“I did a Children in Need thing about 10 years ago, quite fun, but people always asked and you kind of go, 'Never say never.' I didn't think they could ever do it.”

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She added: “I think things are about timing, and then really, life is about timing, and it kind of wasn't the right time. I think if it happened five years ago, I probably would have said no. I really think it's about timing."

Collins explained how she went for a meeting with Clenshaw, which was enough to convince her to return.

Cindy Beale sits beside a pool in a sun lounger with a glass of wine.
Cindy Beale sits beside a pool in a sun lounger with a glass of wine. BBC

"We both went, 'Wow. Oh my God.' It was incredible. It was so in-depth," she confirmed of the meeting.

Clenshaw added: “It was just it was intricately linked to the Knights and the arrival of them and Walford’s newest family coming together with Walford’s oldest clan as well. So it was the marriage of those two ideas that kind of came together.”

Of course, we know Cindy won't be alone either, she'll be back with EastEnders icon Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale.

Collins said of the pair returning together: “Audiences love Ian and they love the character and you know, he kind of just makes me laugh. It’s just like [Chris Clenshaw] said, I don't think the Square is the same without him.

“Judging from reactions that I get in life, I think [Cindy is] a much-loved character. Whether you like her or not, she had a huge impact on people. I don't think I've ever quite shaken her off and so I hope people will be excited about her return. I hope they will. I think the writing in EastEnders is just so great and that's what it's about."

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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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