EastEnders star Tilly Keeper has praised the soap’s writers for allowing her character Louise Mitchell to exhibit a ruthless streak in the Christmas Day episode.
“At the start of the year, I’d told our bosses Kate Oates and Jon Sen that I really wanted Louise to get that mischievous, evil side to personality back," the actress told RadioTimes.com. "So I knew it was going to come at some point, but I was pleased.”
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Scenes just shown on BBC1 saw Louise dupe her partner Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) after discovering all about his infidelity with Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean). In the aftermath of Keanu confessing to being the father of her stepmother's unborn baby, Louise appeared to agree to move away from Walford with him and their newborn daughter Peggy.
But just as the trio looked set to make a break for it so that Keanu could evade the clutches of a raging Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), Louise turned the tables on her partner. Viewers saw Martin Fowler (James Bye) spring a surprise attack on Keanu, chloroforming him and driving him away from the Square, while a hardened Louise looked on, having decided to side with the Mitchells rather than her duplicitous boyfriend.
“I didn’t want Louise to leave with Keanu,” admitted Keeper. “He’d betrayed her. She had to do something.” A dramatic cliffhanger then saw it revealed that Martin had shot Keanu, with video evidence proving he’d committed murder on Ben’s orders.
The showdown now looks set to pave the way for Keeper’s upcoming exit, with the 22-year-old having already announced that her days on EastEnders are now numbered.
“What a way to go out. I’m leaving on a high – I’ve had a really great year and I’ve really enjoyed working on this story as it’s given me something to get my teeth into. It’s been a really good challenge for me and I just think, ‘How lucky am I?’
"It’s been great working with Tish, Danny and with Max and James (Bye) towards the end. And with Lucy Benjamin coming back as Lou's mum Lisa as well. I’ve had everything I could’ve asked for. Jon and Kate definitely delivered for me and now it’s time to go off and try other things.”
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