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Exclusive: Jean Slater to stay on 'EastEnders'

By
Gillian Wright

© Rex Features / David Fisher

EastEnders star Gillian Wright has landed a new deal which will see her return to the BBC soap in the spring, Digital Spy can exclusively reveal.

Back in April, it was confirmed that the actress's character Jean Slater will be leaving Walford at the end of this year. The news emerged alongside the announcement that Wright's screen daughter Lacey Turner had decided to bow out from her role as Stacey.

However, in a surprise twist, the show's team have now created a comeback storyline for Jean - although details of how and why she will return to Albert Square are currently being kept closely under wraps.

An EastEnders spokesperson today told DS: "Jean Slater will leave Walford around the end of this year, however we're pleased to say she will return to our screens in spring 2011.

"Everyone knows Stacey will make a dramatic departure from Albert Square on Christmas Day, but we don't want to say too much about what this means for Jean at this point as we want viewers to enjoy the drama as it unfolds on screen."

Wright has played the role of Jean on and off since 2004, originally appearing as a minor cast member before later becoming a Walford regular. Her portrayal of Jean's bipolar disorder has received particular acclaim, including from the mental health charity Mind.

Earlier this year, the star told DS that her time with EastEnders has been "wonderful" and "a privilege". Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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