One of returning boss John Yorke’s first major plans for EastEnders when he took the reigns again was to bring back Tamzin Outhwaite as Mel Owen – and the actress has heaped praise on him for his vision for the show.
Mel was John’s creation when she first arrived in the show in the late 90s and Tamzin has admitted that she wouldn’t have returned if it hadn’t been John in charge. When Metro.co.uk sat down with her for a chat, she explained: ‘It’s been talked about but John Yorke has never come to my house and sat in my kitchen until now! He’s very persuasive! I don’t think I’d have come back unless it was him. How John views the show is quite similar to I do.
‘We both were part of the show at a really lovely time and I him being back helped to persuade me. The way he was talking about it is the way I view it. I like his view that the representation of East End London in the show works best when you have really strong women driving it. He really wanted the female characters to drive it again. It’s going to be a lovely challenge.’
Discussing how it first came about, she continued: ‘I spoke to (casting director) Julia Crampsey first who approached me at the Soap Awards and asked what I was up to. I told her I couldn’t really do theatre at the moment as I had a foot injury. My pool of work possibilities was smaller – I could only do TV in London which is quite minimal. When I worked out what I need to do to still be an actor and a mum, the timing was so aligned.
‘Julia told me John Yorke was back and that made it all very interesting. We all went for dinner and then John came to my house and we chatted about it. John got to know my family when we worked together – he was a very close part of my life and I could go to him with anything about the show.