EastEnders has confirmed Lisa Fowler (Lucy Benjamin) will return for a dramatic storyline involving Louise Mitchell (Tilly Keeper), her teenage daughter with old flame Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).
Lou is pregnant by boyfriend Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters), although he thinks she had an abortion. On Friday 31st May Louise admits to stepmum Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) she lied about the termination and is still with child, not realising Shazza and her baby daddy recently rekindled their forbidden fling.
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News of Louise's baby bombshell is sure to spread around Walford sooner rather than later, paving the way for a visit from volatile Lisa perhaps?
"With the recent news Louise is expecting a baby, it's safe to say Lisa will want to keep a close eye on her daughter," says an EastEnders spokesperson. "But with such a chequered past in the Square, Lisa's return is set to be far from quiet…"
Keanu and Sharon's on/off affair has been sizzling away since last summer, and is yet to be exposed. What's the betting vengeful Lisa discovers her vulnerable daughter's boyfriend's betrayal and lifts the lid on the lusty liaison to bring more misery on arch-enemy Phil, who she famously once tried to kill?
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What's going to happen to Lisa Fowler?
Speaking about her comeback, Benjamin said: "I couldn't be more excited to be returning and working with such a talented bunch of actors and crew. I love and adore playing Lisa and look forward to revisiting the role and seeing what's in store for her this time."
Executive producer Jon Sen teased the circumstances of the legendary character's reappearance: "Lisa Fowler is one of the most enduringly popular characters in the history of the show. We are all chuffed Lucy has agreed to come back later this year for a thrilling storyline that takes us into the heart of her past."
When was Lisa Fowler last in EastEnders?
Long-terms fans will recall unstable Lisa's ongoing battle with serious mental health issues, which manifested during her last stint on the show in July 2017. Lisa raced to Louise's hospital bedside after her daughter suffered life-changing burns during an accident at the school prom, but after Phil ordered her to stay out of her life she kidnapped Lou and went on the run. Eventually suffering a breakdown barricaded in a hotel room, Phil rescued Louise in the nick of time and Lisa was led off to hospital.
Seven years earlier in 2010, Lisa made a on-episode appearance at the height of Phil's crack addiction and did a runner with Louise, who had been living with her dad.
Benjamin was a cast regular between 1998 and 2002, introduced as the meek and mild market inspector who's unlikely romance with bullying hard man Phil turned her into a nervous, paranoid wreck, leading her to being revealed as the person who pulled the trigger in the soap's classic 'Who Shot Phil?' storyline in 2001.
Lisa married nice guy Mark Fowler who posed as her baby's father when she fell pregnant, but Phil soon discovered the child was his and a tug of love ensued that saw him chase his unstable ex to Portugal when she fled the country to keep baby Louise away from her destructive dad, leading to a tense cliff top showdown. In 2003 Lisa was back again and out for revenge, teaming up with a just-back-from-the-dead Dirty Den Watts to take down Phil once more.
In December 2018 Benjamin briefly reprised the role for an EastEnders podcast set in 2003 filling in some of the blanks about what Lisa and best mate Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite) got up to during their time in Portugal, explaining how Mel met future husband Ray Kelly (Sean Mahon).
Benjamin's return is the latest high-profile cast comeback for the show, following Robert Kazinsky (Sean Slater), Danielle Harold (Lola Pearce) and Patsy Palmer, who was recently announced as reappearing in the autumn as iconic loudmouth Bianca Jackson.
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