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'EastEnders' Letitia Dean defends return: 'Show needs old blood'

Letitia Dean has stood by her decision to rejoin EastEnders for the third time.

The Sharon Rickman actress, who makes her on-screen return in tonight's (August 13) episode, believes that the BBC soap requires "old blood" in the cast.

Phil is shocked to see Sharon standing at his door.


Letitia Dean as Sharon Rickman


The 44-year-old was asked by the BBC's Newsbeat whether critics were right to suspect that EastEnders producers' choice to bring her back signalled a lack of fresh ideas.

She responded: "I think with any sort of ongoing drama like EastEnders you need old blood, new blood, it just needs a balance."

The Albert Square legend's first stint on the show spanned a decade, from 1985 to 1995, before she reprised her role from 2001 until 2006.

Co-star Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell, shared Dean's view - comparing her comeback to that of his own, Ross Kemp's and Barbara Windsor's.

Steve McFadden as Phil Mitchell in EastEnders


Sharon returns to Eastenders in desperate need of Phil's help.


"You know I went and came back. And I know that when me, Ross and Barbara came back it sort of invigorated the show," he hypothesised.

"What Letitia is doing is bringing back some history and you can't buy that. It takes years to build that up."

Letitia Dean's first episode back on EastEnders is to be screened tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

Watch a trailer for Sharon's return below:

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