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Updated: Ex-'Hollyoaks' actress returns to 'EastEnders'

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Ex-'Hollyoaks' actress returns to 'EastEnders'

Gemma as Hollyoaks' Clare

Former Hollyoaks actress Gemma Bissix is to return to EastEnders almost 10 years after she left.

The 24-year-old – who bowed out of Hollyoaks last night after portraying superbitch Clare Cunningham for just under a year – is to return to Walford as Clare Bates, step-daughter of Nigel (Paul Bradley) and Debbie Bates (Nicola Duffett).

Clare's world was turned upside down when her mum died in a car crash in 1995. She was last seen in Albert Square in 1998 before leaving to live in Scotland with her father and her teacher, Julie Haye (Karen Henthorn).

An EastEnders source told The Sun: "Clare goes back to Walford hoping to stay with Dot, who is thrilled to see her. But Clare seems cagey when asked about her stepdad, Nigel."

They added: "She really shakes things up."

Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood today told DS: "Gemma was a fantastic asset to the Hollyoaks cast. Recasting Gemma in the role of Clare was the first thing I did when I joined Hollyoaks and it was a decision which paid of handsomely.

"She was excellent in the role of Clare Cunningham and I wish her all the best of luck as she returns to EastEnders. I'm sure she'll be equally as brilliant in her other role of Clare."

Gemma is due to begin filming at Elstree Studios in December and will first appear on screen in the New Year. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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