EastEnders icon Bianca Jackson returns on Monday 2nd September, the first time we’ve seen Patsy Palmer as the loudmouth redhead since 2014, but her reappearance for stepdaughter Whitney Dean’s (Shona McGarty) wedding to Callum Highway (Tony Clay) feels long overdue considering she barely managed a phone call from Milton Keynes when teenage daughter Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith) was groomed into drug trafficking. Was B not bothered about her offspring’s ordeal?
“Bianca’s got a lot of stuff going on that nobody knows about,” explains Palmer, defending the alter ego she has played on and off since 1993. “I don’t want to give anything away but viewers will learn in the coming weeks why she has been so quiet – it does give answers.”
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The backdrop to Bianca’s comeback is the tortured love triangle between Whit, Callum and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden), whose fling with the groom is exposed to the bride just prior to the big day. With the nuptials in jeopardy, B’s presence only adds to the friction, as Palmer reveals:
“Bianca ends up getting in trouble with her old mate Kat and it all ends in disaster,” she laughs. “It ends up as a classic race to the wedding and whether they’ll make it in time!
“As usual trouble follows Bianca around, but I think she’s really proud of Whitney and glad to be back to see her kids, although she does have a bit of a hard time because she’s been in Milton Keynes and hasn’t been there for them.”
Will Bianca make amends with Tiffany?
The extent of Tiff’s ordeal at the hands of the insidious county lines gang, who forced the schoolgirl into being a drugs mule and led to a horrific sexual assault that only her uncle Jack Branning knows about, comes into sharp focus when she’s reunited with her mother and the pair share some emotional scenes on Friday 6th September – but Palmer teases neither are ready to be 100% honest quite yet…
“Bianca and Tiffany have both got things they’re not telling each other, so it’s hard for them to have a conversation. It’s the typical family scenario when everyone has their own things going on but nobody really wants to say anything.
“I feel like Bianca is trying to protect Tiff by not telling her certain things, and likewise she is doing the same to protect her mum from everything that’s happened. Tiffany is a teenager and although they’ve been in touch, Bianca just doesn’t know all the details of what went on.
“They need to be honest with each other so they can rebuild their relationship. As always, Bianca has the best intentions and wants to do the right thing, but amidst the chaos of the wedding things definitely don’t go to plan…”
Palmer is only back on screen for a few weeks, and insists this is the first time she’s been asked back in five years, but EastEnders bosses have already hinted her return makes a big impact long after she’s gone back to her Buckinghamshire abode, and provides the catalyst for a year-long storyline for her on-screen clan, presumably meaning Tiff, Whit, plus siblings Sonia and Robbie will all be kept busy.
So between all the #Ballum and Whitney wedding drama, keep a close eye on Bianca’s behaviour – it could be a vital clue to her mysterious new plot…
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