EastEnders star Patsy Palmer, 46, to RETURN as Bianca Jackson for the third time in 25 years… after leaving Walford behind to live in California
EastEnders ex-star Patsy Palmer is returning to the soap as the feisty Bianca Jackson for the third time in 25 years.
Executive producer Jon Sen confirmed on Wednesday that the actress, 46, will be heading back to Albert Square for a huge storyline, with her first scenes to appear in the autumn.
Patsy last appeared in EastEnders in 2014 when Bianca moved to Milton Keynes with boyfriend Terry Spraggan, and has since been living in California with husband of 19 years Richard Merkell and her four children.
She’s back! EastEnders ex-star Patsy Palmer is returning to the soap as the feisty Bianca Jackson for the third time in 25 years
According to The Sun, Jon said: ‘I’m thrilled Patsy’s agreed to return to reprise her iconic creation in a blistering storyline that will grip fans this autumn.’
A source added: ‘Bosses are delighted to be getting Patsy back. She’s a real Enders icon and fans love seeing old faces return.
‘She has yet to get her scripts but she will no doubt be at the centre of drama when she returns in the autumn.’
It was also confirmed that Patsy’s return will only be a short stint, but many fans are already anticipating her reunion with daughter Tiffany (played by Maisie Smith).
New face: Executive producer Jon Sen confirmed the actress will be heading back to Albert Square for a huge storyline, with her first scenes to appear in the autumn (above in 2013)
Iconic: Patsy last appeared in EastEnders in 2014 as the loud-mouthed Bianca, when she moved away from Albert Square to start a new life in Milton Keynes
Patsy first joined EastEnders in 1993 as the loud-mouthed Bianca who eventually sparked up a romance with Ricky (played by Sid Owen) with the couple’s 1997 wedding going down in soap history.
The couple went through some difficult times, including the sad loss of their baby daughter Natasha after learning she had Spina bifida just 20 weeks in the pregnancy.
Ricky’s married to Bianca came to an end when she left Albert Square in 1999, but unbeknownst to Ricky, she was pregnant with his daughter Tiffany.
At odds: Patsy first joined EastEnders in 1993 as Bianca, who was repeatedly at odds with her mum Carol
Iconic: The character is also synonymous with her relationship with husband Ricky Butcher (above in 2008)
Ricckaaaaay! The couple married twice during their times on the soap, with the second in 2010 coinciding with the soap’s 25th Anniversary
Bianca went through plenty of hard times as she struggled with being a single mum to Tiffany, Liam and Morgan as well as ward Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty), but after returning to EastEnders in 2008, she and Ricky re-married as part of the soap’s 25th Anniversary.
Between 2011 and 2012 Patsy took several breaks from the soap, as Bianca was sentenced to six months in prison for assaulting mum Carol’s lover Connor Stanley.
The star’s last appearance was in September 2014, when she left Albert Square for Milton Keynes with boyfriend Terry.
But it was hinted that all was not well in her new life when Tiffany ditched her family to come back to Albert Square last year, and it remains to be seen whether there will be fireworks when the mother and daughter are reunited.
Family life: Patsy moved to America with husband Richard Merkell in 2014 alongside her three youngest children Fenton (second right) Emilia (left) and Bertie (centre)
Off-screen Patsy has been living the high life after moving to California with Richard in 2014 alongside her three youngest children Fenton, 18, Emilia, 17, and Bertie, 8.
The actress’ 26-year-old son Charlie Palmer Rothwell – who Patsy had during her relationship with boxer Alfie Rothwell – stayed in the UK to pursue a career in acting.
Patsy recently admitted she did not miss her acting career four years after saying goodbye to the character of Bianca, in a recent chat with Lorraine Kelly.
‘It was a little bit strange getting used to the idea you’re not ‘on show’ everywhere you walk about, you don’t have to be ready to speak to someone about EastEnders,’ the star said.
‘You can go out and just completely be yourself, it’s kind of weird, it is something you probably need therapy for, though I haven’t gone down that route since I’ve been here but everyone does.’
Doting mum: Her 26-year-old son Charlie (top left) – who she shares with boxer Alfie Rothwell – stayed in the UK to pursue a career in acting, but they often see each other
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