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EastEnders fans spot sudden and ‘secret’ recast as new actor takes over role

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Jake McNally in EastEnders as Louie Beale
Louie Beale staged a return to EastEnders earlier this week with actor Jake McNally in the role (Picture: BBC)

It didn’t take EastEnders fans long to notice that a new actor has taken over the role of Louie Beale, who returned from France with mum Lauren Branning (Jaqueline Jossa) earlier this week.

Lauren and cousin Penny (Kitty Castledine) were seen at a party on New Year’s Eve and, after giving it some thought, they decided to head home to Walford, with Lauren eager to let Louie see his dad.

The trip wasn’t exactly a smooth one, with Lauren being arrested at the airport after drugs were found in her luggage.

Louie, meanwhile, arrived in Walford with Penny, much to the delight of Peter (Thomas Law), who greeted his son with open arms.

Last time Peter saw Louie was in June last year, where the boy and his mum Lauren made an unannounced appearance in a special episode set in France, which explained how Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) was alive and well despite everyone believing her to be dead.

At the time, the role of Louie was played by Freddie Harrington, who appeared in the single episode set in France.

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Frankie Harrington as Louie Beale in EastEnders
Freddie Harrington played Louie for one episode back in June, when the character appeared in scenes set in France (Picture: BBC)

But with the character officially back in Walford full-time, actor Jake McNally has taken over the part.

‘Have they recasted louie again lol,’ said one viewer on X, formerly known as Twitter. ‘Yup’ replied another, confirming the news for the original poster.

EastEnders has been non-stop drama over the past few months, with the festive season in particular, followed by New year, proving incredibly eventful.

Lauren and Peter in EastEnders at the Beale household
Peter and Lauren are reunited in upcoming scenes (Picture: BBC / Jack Barnes / Kieron McCarron)

Six of the show’s most iconic women were involved in a murder cover-up on Christmas Day with Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) meeting his maker, with his body subsequently hidden in the cafe.

New Year, meanwhile, dealt with the fallout of Lauren, Louie and Penny’s return, in addition to George Knight (Colin Salmon) finding out the truth about his adoption after parents Gloria and Eddie rocked up in the Square.

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