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'EastEnders' confirms Billie Jackson casting

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'EastEnders' confirms Billie Jackson casting

BBC

Actor Devon Anderson is to reprise his role as Billie Jackson, Digital Spy can confirm.

The 22-year-old, who originally played the character for six years from 1993 and 1997, makes his screen comeback at the same time as the rest of the Jackson clan in the early part of the New Year.

Last month, it was announced that the Jackson family - comprising Carol (Lindsey Coulson), Sonia (Natalie Cassidy), Robbie (Dean Gaffney) and Billie - would be reunited on screen ahead of the Walford soap's 25th anniversary. At the time, however, the casting of Billie had yet to be finalised.

Speaking of his comeback, Anderson said: "I'm really happy to be back at EastEnders playing the role of Billie Jackson again. It was my first acting role and I can't wait to get started again."

He continued: "It is also very exciting that all of the Jackson family will be reunited and I’m sure that will be eventful for the viewers."

Executive producer Diederick Santer commented: "Viewers will remember Devon as the original Billie Jackson, the cute kid with the big hair. Devon, like Billie, is all grown up, and 12 years on, I'm delighted to welcome this talented young actor back to the show."

Of the character's return, a Walford source told DS: "Billie's become a young man since the last time we saw him - he might even referred to by his proper name Will. He's still the apple of his mother's eye but is he the angelic family man she wants him to be?"

Billie was written out of the East-End serial in October 1997 when he and his screen family was placed in witness protection following his kidnapping. The character - played briefly by stand in Bluey Robinson, who is now a singer - then made a short return to the Square in 2004 for Sonia's wedding to Martin (James Alexandrou).

In real life, Anderson went on to appear as Sonny Valentine in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks. He mysteriously disappeared from the programme's storylines in 2007. It was subsequently reported that he was axed by the producer at the time Bryan Kirkwood over "alleged timekeeping issues".

Coincidentally, current EastEnders exec Diederick Santer is to be replaced by Kirkwood on February 20.

> First Pic: Billie Jackson returns to 'EastEnders' Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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