EastEnders star Annette Badland has revealed she received death threats from soap viewers who believed she really was Babe Smith.
The 70-year-old soap actor – who is set to return to Albert Square as Mick Carter's evil aunt – said she sought help from the police after some EastEnders fans threatened to take revenge on her for Babe's crimes.
Badland told the Distinct Nostalgia podcast: “People did believe I was Babe, which was shocking. It was the first time people didn’t say to me, ‘Oh I can’t remember your name but I liked you in that thing the other night.’
“Most people loved her and enjoyed the naughtiness of it but towards the end I did have death threats which is very shocking and frightening so it is a tricky thing that you go, ‘Oh this is wonderful that people think she is real,’ and then there are people who go with it and don’t enjoy it or it offends them as they think it is real and they want revenge."
She continued: “She ruffled some feathers as a character and the police told me, ‘You don’t tell anyone where you are going. You always have a phone.’
“You can go, ‘Oh this is just some poor person and nothing is going to happen,’ but you just don’t know.
“So I was quite frightened for a bit. And you just have to go about your life and hope for the best.”
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Babe Smith is the aunt of Shirley, Mick and Tina Carter. She last appeared in the BBC soap in 2017, when Queen Vic landlord Mick (Danny Dyer) threw her out for serving alcohol outside licensing hours and landing them with a £20k fine.
Some of her crimes included baby farming, blackmail and leaving her sister Sylvie (Linda Marlowe) for dead after a fight.
Badland – also known for playing pathologist Dr Fleur Perjins in Midsomer Murders – recently dropped a hint she will soon be returning as Babe when she tweeted a clip of the Carter family in EastEnders captioned: "Faaaaaaamily!"
When a fan asked her if she was reprising the role she said: "Be careful what you wish for."
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