EastEnders star Harriet Thorpe talks new family arrival

EastEnders spoilers follow.

It's the beginning of a new era in EastEnders next week, as Linda's mum Elaine returns to Walford as part of some big changes at The Queen Vic.

Elaine, who will now played be played by Harriet Thorpe, will unveil herself as the new co-owner of the iconic Walford pub and will be joined by the rest of her family over the coming weeks.

Here, Harriet reveals all on her new role and teases "big consequences" after Elaine's dramatic arrival.

Welcome to EastEnders! How has your time in Walford been so far?

"It’s a dream come true. My family originally came from the East End, two generations back, so it’s like coming home. Everyone has been so warm and wonderful, it’s been so fun and creative so far. With all the drama and the laughs of the show too, I really couldn’t ask for anything more."

linda carter, sharon watts, elaine peacock, eastenders

How did you feel when you got the part?

"I felt so honoured. It’s a wonderful story of another strong woman who takes no nonsense, is fearless and forthright but who has a big heart. Again, it’s a very fulfilling role."

Did you do anything to celebrate?

"I was already in a theatre show at the time, working eight shows a week, so I couldn’t go out and celebrate. I also couldn’t tell anyone so I’m still waiting to celebrate!"

We know you’re set to join as the new co-owner of The Vic. How does it feel to be part of a lineage of iconic landladies?

"Again, I feel so honoured. Also, importantly, it’s an honour to portray a 65-year-old woman of today as not being coy, fearful or anxious. Elaine is more of a rock chick girl rather than a 1940s landlady."

eastenders, the knight family

Can you give us some insight into Elaine’s character?

"She’s funny, fearless, forthright and her phrase for her life is: 'life’s a mess, get on with it or get over it. Keep moving forward'."

What was it like filming your first scene in The Vic?

"It just felt very awe-inspiring, thrilling and exciting to begin to find the breath to put into this character as she enters through the doors and starts her journey on the Square."

What has it been like working with Kellie Bright?

"She’s absolutely amazing. She’s supportive, funny and we’re very communicative about this wonderful mother-daughter relationship. Our job, as characters playing a mother and daughter, is to irritate the hell out of each other and their relationship can be testing at the best of times."

linda carter, sharon watts, eastenders

Is Elaine’s arrival on The Square smooth sailing?

"Of course not! There’s always some drama!"

How do you think Sharon and The Panesars will react to Linda’s deceit?

"I think they’re both hugely shocked, with big consequences."

We know you will be part of a brand new family – The Knights. Can you tell us how it feels to be part of a new family on EastEnders?

"It is something that we’re all enjoying so much because they’re a group of such interesting characters who have their own issues, thoughts and passions for life."

eastenders, linda with the knights

Is Elaine here to stir up trouble?

"I don’t think she stirs it up but whenever there is any, she sorts it out immediately."

Can you tease what viewers can expect from Elaine over the next few weeks?

"Some laughs, a bit of wit, a bit of wisdom and a strong woman."

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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