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Exclusive: More 'Enders reaction chat from Di Parish!

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Denise Johnson in EastEnders

© BBC

Ahead of tonight's game-changing EastEnders episode going to air, Diane Parish spoke exclusively to Digital Spy about the shock revelation that her character Denise Johnson is still alive.

If you haven't yet read the main part of the chat, click here to do so.

Alternatively, read on for more from Diane, including her thoughts on Libby, Chelsea and Don Gilet…

What have you thought about the storyline as a whole?
"It's all been a bit of a blur, but I've loved every last second of it. It's been really powerful, and there's some great episodes written by Christopher Reason next week - absolutely spot on. And the red button stuff that we've done is spot on. I remember saying to Bryan when I got the scripts that I was actually a bit petrified. I thought the scripts were really good, they're among the best scripts I've ever been given on the show in four years, if not the best scripts. I said to Bryan, 'I love them - but I really hope I do what you lot have put on the tin!' It's quite an intimidating thing when you get a really, really good strong bit of material to do - you then think, 'Am I going to be able to do it?' So I was really excited to do it and a bit terrified, but it's fun."

The Lucas story has been quite a slow burn one - what have you made of that?
"I think the point of that is that we don't know who we live amongst. We don't know who we live next door to. You can go through any situation in life - pass anyone on the street and you don't know, you just do not know what somebody's about and what they're up to. People have been shocked, but we don't know who we live amongst and that was the point of Lucas getting on with life in the Square.

"It wasn't about a storyline being dragged out or being overly long or anything like that. We wanted to give the sense that this guy got accidentally involved in a terrible crime with Trina, then he felt he was driven and pushed over the edge in desperation and did a terrible thing in murdering Owen. But all the way through that, he didn't walk on to the path of being a serial killer, it was just steps in desperation and being lost. We had to play that in real time."

Were you surprised when you learned that Libby and Chelsea would believe Denise was a killer?
"Oh yeah, I definitely was. Not Libby, because she's got some doubts, but with Chelsea. But I think we've got to remember that Chelsea had that bracelet thing nagging away at her for quite a while. But even so, I think, 'Do you not know your mother?!' She's obviously had that bracelet nagging away, and also she so desperately wanted to find her dad. We've got to remember that when Chelsea was in a very bad place, she was dabbling in drugs herself, so she felt she had some sort of connection with her dad and wanted to find him.

"Having her mum and her dad in the same house together was very important to her. So the idea that she could have possibly been the person to bring horror into her home, I think she would just block that out. Possibly the only thing is that it's easier to believe it was Denise who's done it, because the thought that it's her dad that's done it possibly is just too horrible."

Were you on set to see Denise's funeral?
"I wasn't on set when they did the funeral - I was at home in my garden! But it was really weird coming in after they'd all shot it. Everyone was going, 'God, Di, that was so weird, I didn't like it. I didn't like seeing your picture there'. I remember Nina, especially, saying, 'Oh no, I didn't like it'. She was really getting upset. I haven't seen those episodes but by the time you've done this article I will have seen it. I don't know what happens at the funeral, I look forward to it!"

Would you like to see Denise find some happiness now, or are you keen to keep playing the drama?
"I've always said that the most interesting characters are the people who go through these tortures and upsets. It's a rollercoaster of fun doing this. I always love doing the light stuff and the comedy, I absolutely adore it - bouncing off some of the actors in there is great. But when you do get stuff like this to get your teeth stuck into, it's brilliant."

Lucas's storyline is obviously drawing to a close now - will you miss working with Don Gilet?
"I will really, really, really miss working with him. Don plays a very intense character, and he's a very good actor and very professional, but he knows how to keep it light, put it that way! That is a blessing and a godsend to have when you're doing such challenging and intense work. Don and I have known each other for about ten years, we've worked together a lot, we get each other, and we don't have to work things out before we step on set - we just know.

"We can go and sit and have a cup of tea or lunch and go through our lines, and toss things into the air and come up with ideas. Neither of us are sensitive about that, and that is rare - it's rare to work with somebody where it's all easy and understood, and where you laugh. I spend all my time laughing with Don. I don't know if people know it, but he's a very funny man. He's crazy too, but really funny and we've both got the same sense of humour. I've just had two and a half years of working with someone who's like a best mate, so it's been brilliant."

Now that you're back from the dead, can you assure your fans that you'll be sticking with EastEnders for the foreseeable future?
"I would like to reassure them, but who knows?! I'm really enjoying myself at the minute and EastEnders is definitely keeping it interesting for all of us - it's some of the best work you'll get to do on television, being in this show, because you do get the full gamut of emotions and you get to really challenge yourself at times. I've been very fortunate that I've been trusted with really important issues and stories, and while that's happening, I'm loving it! I love EastEnders. I'm working with some amazing actors - there's some real talent to be proud of. And I'm really proud of our female talent - I think we've got amazingly strong, edgy women in our show. I'm very proud to be part of it."

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