EastEnders: Gillian Taylforth’s return was so secret even her children didn’t know

It's been a massive week for EastEnders fans.

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by Jack White |
Published on

Not only did we FINALLY find out who killed Lucy Beale, but there was a shock return in the form of Kathy Beale!

EastEnders fans will know that Ian's mum and Phil Mitchell's ex-wife was killed off screen in 2006.

But, 15 years after she made her final on-screen appearance, Kathy is back. Bosses were so desperate to keep her return a secret that Gillian Taylforth, who plays her, wasn't even allowed to tell her children.

Shocked viewers saw Kathy return during live week

She told the Daily Star: "When they asked me back I burst into tears. But it's been awful trying to keep it a secret.

"The one person who knew was my other half Dave. Even my kids didn't know. When I got off set on Thursday, I had so many missed calls.

"My son, who is 15, didn't watch the show and was playing football. When he found out he said, '90 per cent of the population know, the one per cent, your son, didn't know anything about it, but I love you mum."

Gillian and Steve with Letitia Dean [Sharon Mitchell]

Gillian's comeback was even given a codeword of OOF, meaning Our Old Friend, which Adam Woodyatt and Steve McFadden came up with.

Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins insisted Kathy's return will be credible, despite her supposed car crash in South Africa.

He said: "We have a credible and real and proper story about her coming back. This isn't Dynasty.

"As a viewer I watched Dirty Den come back and I didn't buy it. I saw Den die. I saw him go into that canal.

"With Kath it was so airy fairy. It was never screened. It was out there in South Africa. With a character like Phil holding that secret you can believe it. He has done some dark things. Did he know the whole time? You will see."

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