EastEnders star Lucy Benjamin reveals all on Lisa's return

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

EastEnders star Lucy Benjamin has revealed new details of her upcoming return as Lisa Fowler.

The popular character will be heading back to Albert Square in the first week of September, with the big episodes kicking off an action-packed autumn in Walford.

As teased in EastEnders' recent trailer, Lisa reappears to seek help from her old friend Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite). Lisa wants to help get Keanu Taylor out of the country after he was framed for Phil Mitchell's recent attack.

Lisa's comeback coincides with the drama surrounding Hunter's escape, Whitney and Callum's wedding and Bianca's return, so she'll certainly have plenty to keep her occupied.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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Speaking to Digital Spy and other media at an EastEnders press event this week, Lucy laughed: "What a very dramatic week for her to return! It's all going on in that week and drama just seems to follow Lisa around, which is fantastic. I wouldn't want it any other way, to be honest.

"But when I first got the scripts I remember speaking to [executive producer] Jon Sen and saying: 'Oh flipping heck! This is just crazy'. I'm thrilled to be part of this storyline."

Asked whether Lisa will have more tensions with the Mitchell family, Lucy replied: "Oh, I hope so – else it wouldn't be right, really. There's all of that to come, as you'd expect.

"I'm back to do a stint, but I can't give too much away about how long I'm back for. But there's more of what you would hope to come. Lisa always brings trouble and causes Phil lots of trouble."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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Lisa was last seen on screen in 2017, when an emotional storyline explored her fragile mental health.

Discussing how life for Lisa has changed since then, Lucy told us: "She's well at the moment. She's on her medication, so she's turned a corner. She still has her therapy, but she's tickety-boo, in as much as she's taking the medication that she should be taking.

"We'll be seeing the calmer, more sane side of Lisa now. She's on top of her illness, she knows what she has to do in order to stay straight and together.

"That means medication probably for the rest of her life, but there is always that danger when she doesn't take it that things could go a bit wrong."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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On how it felt to come back for this latest storyline, Lucy continued: "Well I was last back two years ago. I was only back for a four-week stint that time, and I didn't really see many of the cast, as it was quite an isolated storyline.

"So when I came back in the middle of June this year, seeing familiar faces like Patsy Palmer and Tamzin Outhwaite there, it was just a joy. It was like coming home and it's been a pleasure ever since.

"I love Lisa. She's a joy to play. She's so layered and so multi-faceted. I think there's still so much to discover about Lisa and about what makes her tick.

"As an actor it's just a delight to be given a character like that. I feel like I know her very well. It makes things easier to play when you're so engaged in a character. I just get her, I see where she’s going and therefore I love her very much.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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"Working with Tamzin Outhwaite again has also been an absolute delight. Tamzin and I were very close all those years ago. Then you know what the business is like – you don't see each other for a while.

"We bumped into each other actually on New Tricks once, but we didn't have the time that we've had over the past couple of months. We've renewed our friendship and the chemistry between us is fantastic.

"It was like it was only yesterday that we were working as Lisa and Mel. We have a great time and we've enjoyed it thoroughly."

Lucy also reflected on her most famous storyline, when Lisa was revealed as the culprit in the 'Who Shot Phil?' mystery in 2001.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

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Revealing how fans still talk to her about the compelling plot, she said: "It's incredible really. People say to me all the time when I'm out shopping: 'When are you going to go back and sort Phil out once and for all?'

"It's something I'm really proud of and thrilled to have been the person who actually pulled the trigger. I think people have several times since, but I was the first!

"It was a very proud moment in my EastEnders career and it's still incredible how people still remember it and Lisa's dynamic with Phil."

EastEnders continues on Monday (August 26) at 8pm on BBC One.

Read more news, spoilers and gossip on our EastEnders homepage

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest EastEnders spoilers, as Mel plans to flee with Hunter, and Callum has something to tell Whitney ahead of their wedding.

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