EastEnders

EastEnders’ Patsy Palmer reprises role as Bianca Jackson in tense scenes ahead of Whitney exit

EastEnders icon Patsy Palmer is set to reprise her role as fiery Bianca Jackson in drama-filled scenes ahead of her on-screen daughter Whitney Dean's exit in the Spring

EastEnders star Patsy Palmer is returning as Bianca Jackson in the Spring.

The actress, 51, made her first appearance as the fiery, sharp-tongued Bianca in 1993, winning the hearts of viewers thanks to her relationship with Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen). Her first exit came in 1999 before she reprised the role nearly one decade later in 2008.

She arrived back in Albert Square along with her children, including daughter Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith) and step-daughter Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty). Bianca officially left for a second time in 2014 before returning for a guest stint in 2019.

Over her 13 collective years in Albert Square, Bianca was involved in some of the show’s most iconic storylines, from discovering that David Wicks (Michael French) was her father to Whitney’s abuse within the family storyline.

Patsy Palmer is reprising her role as Bianca Jackson
Patsy Palmer is reprising her role as Bianca Jackson (Image: BBC)More than four years after she was last seen in Walford, fans will be reunited with the iconic character and plenty of drama will accompany her return. A pregnant Whitney and boyfriend Zack Hudson (James Farrar) visit Bianca in Milton Keynes following her off-screen break-up with Terry, but it’s not long before chaos ensues.

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On returning to the BBC soap, Patsy said: “I’m so excited to be reprising the role of Bianca. EastEnders holds such a special place in my heart so it’s always a pleasure to be back.”

Whitney arrived in Walford in 2008 alongside step-mum Bianca
Whitney arrived in Walford in 2008 alongside step-mum Bianca (Image: BBC)

EastEnders’ executive producer, Chris Clenshaw, added: “I’m thrilled to welcome the fabulous Patsy back to the iconic role of Bianca Jackson. Although the character was last seen on-screen in 2019, Bianca still remains a fan favourite. We know our audiences will be thrilled at her return as she is thrust into the heart of the drama alongside step-daughter Whitney.”

Bianca’s return will premiere in a special episode focusing on Whitney and the drama she faces in Milton Keynes. It is unknown whether Patsy’s return is linked to Shona’s upcoming exit. Last year, it was announced that Shona, 32, had quit the role of Whitney after 15 years.

Shona will be leaving the soap in early 2024
Shona will be leaving the soap in early 2024 (Image: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Speaking to Inside Soap magazine about her departure, Shona confirmed it was a difficult decision. The actress added: “I’ve seen people come and go, and meanwhile, Whitney has been one of the longest-standing characters. I’ve had so much fun and done so many storylines, some of which have been sensitive, and I’ve been honoured to be trusted with such heavy stuff, year after year.”

Shona continued: “So, I’m going to be sad to say goodbye to my friends and family, but it was right decision for me as I want to do other things. After 15 years, I’ve had a pretty good run.”

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