Former Emmerdale and Holby City star Patsy Kensit will join the cast of BBC EastEnders tonight.
The 54-year-old actress will join the cast “for a brief stint” as she plays Lola Pearce’s mum following her terminal cancer diagnosis.
Since joining the soap in 2011, Lola’s estranged parents have hardly been mentioned but BBC bosses look set to explore the character’s past following her devastating diagnosis.
Soap fans will recognise Kensit from her roles as Sadie King on Emmerdale (2004-2006) and Faye Morton on Holby City.
She originally played the Holby City nurse from 2007 to 2010 but reprised the character for the soap’s 20th anniversary in 2019.
Following the announcement, Kensit said: “I’m so excited to be visiting Walford for this storyline.
“It has always been a dream of mine to appear in EastEnders. The cast, producers, writers and crew have been wonderful, and I’ve had a ball. Thank-you so much for having me.”
Patsy’s character, Emma Harding, left Lola (Danielle Harold) and her father when Lola was three and has never been seen on the soap before.
EastEnders executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: “We’re delighted to welcome the wonderfully talented Patsy to the EastEnders family.
“She’s the perfect fit to take on the role of such a long-awaited character that we know very little about.
“Softly spoken and measured, on one hand Emma is the very opposite of her long lost daughter Lola.
“But on the other, there’s a striking resemblance; successful, the capacity to hold her own – if she says she’ll do something, she’ll do it – and she’s a fighter, just like Lola.
“Having spent a lifetime apart, Emma becomes desperate to make up for lost time, but her secret sadness and guilt are never far from the surface.
“The burden of losing her daughter has never left her, but can she find the courage to tell her shocking truth and reconnect with Lola, or will it come too little, too late?
“Patsy’s portrayal is bound to set off fireworks in Walford and cause havoc for the Mitchell household.”