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Lacey Turner (Stacey Branning, 'EastEnders')

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Lacey Turner (Stacey Branning, 'EastEnders')
Moments before EastEnders went live to the nation last night, actress Lacey Turner finally discovered that her Walford counterpart - newlywed Stacey Branning - was responsible for burying The Queen Vic bust into Archie Mitchell's skull on Christmas Day. In an emotional scene in the Square just after her screen husband Bradley (Charlie Clements) plunged to his death from The Vic's roof, Stacey told Max: "It's all my fault. You don't understand, Bradley didn't do it! It was me. I killed Archie, it was me!" Here, Lacey speaks for the first time about the big reveal and falling ill a day before the live screening.

How did you feel when you found out?
"I honestly couldn’t believe it! I had no idea and didn’t for one minute think it would be Stacey. It's funny as usually you're told when you get such a big storyline but this really must be the best kept secret in EastEnders history as we've all been trying to guess for weeks."

How did you get told?
"I got a call to go and see Diederick about twenty minutes before we went live. We all knew that he was going to see Archie's killer but I didn’t think for one second that it would be me. To be honest, it still hasn’t sunk in and I can't believe that I was the one who killed Archie Mitchell!"

Who did you think it was?
"I have been asked this since Christmas and like everyone, I have been changing my mind on a daily basis. You watch the show and you read the script looking for clues but each week you see another character and really believe that they have the motive to have killed Archie."

You've been ill - did that affect your filming?
"It's typical isn’t it? Just as the live is upon us, I get ill and lose my voice but to be honest, even though I felt terrible, nothing was going to stop me doing tonight. Everyone has worked so hard on this episode and it's such a big part of TV history that I just knew I couldn’t miss it. I just made sure that I rested my voice throughout the day so I could save it for the night."

How did it feel filming Charlie's exit?
"It was really sad but also really exciting. The show has given him such an amazing exit and to go out with and it has been great to be such a part of it. I'll really miss working with him as we've worked together for over four years now and I have nothing but great memories. I don’t know how he did those scenes, though, as I don’t think I could even get up on that roof!

"Charlie did us all really proud and I'm just pleased that I could be part of his leaving storyline. I think everyone loves Bradley and Stacey being together but at least in their last moments, they knew how much they loved each other. It's going to be really sad for her without him, isn't it?"

What do you think the viewers thought of the reveal?
"I don’t know, but I hope they sympathise with Stacey. She not only has to deal with the guilt of what she did but she also knows that she's inadvertently responsible for Bradley's death. I think that's going to hurt her more than anything."

What has been the reaction from the other cast members?
"It's really strange as some people have suspected me for a while but probably as much as I suspected them! I know Charlie didn’t think it was me so he was surprised but I havent really had much of a chance to see anyone yet - but I hope they liked it as much as I enjoyed it!"

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