Mel Owen already has a number of connections in Walford so when Tamzin Outhwaite returned to EastEnders, it was inevitable that she would be working with the likes of Steve McFadden, Adam Woodyatt and Perry Fenwick again as her alter ego crosses paths once more with Phil Mitchell, Ian Beale and Billy Mitchell.
But when we caught up with the returning star for a chat about her big comeback, she teased that she was also filming a lot of scenes with characters she has never had much to do with – from Sharon Mitchell to Karen Taylor.
The star teased: ‘It was lovely actually, coming back and acting with some of the familiar faces. I have so many good memories – I am buzzing about being back. It’s a lovely atmosphere here, especially right now. I did a couple of big scenes with Steve early on and it takes a while to get up to speed. You have to learn huge amounts of dialogue each night so it’s taken me a bit to get back into the swing of that.
‘Steve and I would run stuff beforehand – it’s so quick here and people here pull it off brilliantly. It was scary but Steve was amazing and so has Adam. I have been working very closely with Tish (Letitia Dean, Sharon) who is just a very funny and strong woman on and off screen. It’s been delightful so far, I also did my first scene with Lorraine Stanley, who plays Karen Taylor who I didn’t know at all – she’s a proper character and I love that. Mel also does some hanging out with Billy and some new characters too. I’ve also been working with Patrick Bergin – and another Irish person who forms part of that family…’
Discussing how the various characters react to Mel’s return, she added: ‘The Billy and Mel thing is really interesting – Mel used to use him as a dogsbody. They had a really good relationship but he was more like a brother. She did something with him once to make Steve jealous. I think she knows Billy will always have a soft spot for her so that’s an in to the Square for her. Ian is a lot more positive than we imagine about her and that’s because so much has happened – he’s been married about seventeen times since! I was only number two!’