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Soaps Interview

Q&A: 'EastEnders' star Glynis Barber

By
Glynis Barber aka 'Glenda Mitchell'

© BBC

Glenda Mitchell bids a sad farewell to Albert Square in next week's episodes of EastEnders after her two daughters Ronnie and Roxy both turn against her. When Ronnie begins to fear that Glenda knows her baby swap secret, she teams up with Phil in the hope of driving her away. Roxy, meanwhile, falls for Phil's lies when he accuses Glenda of being the guilty party who stole her money on the day of Ronnie's wedding. Realising she is no longer welcome in Walford, an isolated Glenda makes her departure - but not before a final showdown with Shirley… Here, in a quick Q&A, actress Glynis Barber discusses Glenda's exit.

What was your first reaction when you read your exit script?
"I felt sorry for Glenda because at the end of the day she's innocent. She didn't actually steal Roxy's money - it was Phil, so it was really sad and emotional for me to be filming. When Glenda leaves, she's completely hurt and humiliated so the emotion comes through in the scenes."

Do you think Glenda was a good mother to Ronnie and Roxy?
"She isn't the most maternal woman but these few weeks she's really tried to be a good mother to both of her girls. She moved into Albert Square so that she could be near her girls, but it's all backfired for her now."

Does Glenda love her daughters equally?
"When we first saw her she was closer to Ronnie because Ronnie had known her for longer before Glenda left, whereas Roxy was Archie's girl. But by the time Glenda left, it was more or less equal, I think. Glenda was similar to both of them in different ways."

When Glenda confronts Ronnie she almost cracks and tells Glenda her secret.
Does Glenda realise that Ronnie's strange behaviour is caused by more than just post-natal depression, as Ronnie suspects?
"Yes and no - she knows that there's something definitely wrong with Ronnie, but I think that she thinks it's the post-natal depression and that maybe Ronnie is heading towards a bit of a breakdown. She's very concerned and frightened for her daughter."

Before Glenda leaves, we see Ronnie lure her to Phil's office where he's waiting for her. Is Glenda shocked by Ronnie's betrayal?
"Yes, it really hurts her. It's like Ronnie's stabbing Glenda in the back. Ronnie has put her into the clutches of Phil, who's a dangerous man, especially when he's mad. She knows that Phil will stop at nothing to get her out of the Square."

Glenda seems to have made things worse for herself by revealing her affair with Phil. Does she regret that decision?
"Yes, at the time she was desperate to try and make Roxy understand that Phil was setting her up over the stolen money, but then she worries about what Shirley is going to do to her and both of her girls have deserted her. She has no home and no money - she's frightened."

Does Glenda still have feelings for Phil?
"Definitely - she has a lot of unresolved business with Phil. She wanted them to be a couple but now her plan's fallen apart. She hates him, there's bad blood there now. Phil tells her the worst thing he could about their affair - that he was just using her. This is the last thing that Glenda wants to hear."

As Glenda is walking, Shirley comes out of the shadows and drags her up.
Before Glenda leaves, Shirley has one last confrontation with her. What was it like filming your last scenes with Linda Henry?
"It's a hard scene, because Shirley's so angry at Glenda but it was really emotional for me. Glenda's been rejected by her girls as well as Phil. No-one wants her or seems to care about her. She's devastated. She loves her girls and without them she's all alone in the world."

Do you think we'll see Glenda back on Albert Square one day?
"Possibly, you'll have to watch this space! The stage is all set for her to come back so you'll have to wait and see. I'd quite like to see her with a different status, either with a strong male lead or with a lot of money!"

Could you see Glenda and Phil reuniting again if Glenda ever came back to the Square?
"Maybe, but Glenda would need to exact her revenge first. Glenda won't be able to let go of what Phil has done to her - she's got a score to settle. It could be her life mission to get revenge on Phil Mitchell! She definitely wants revenge on Phil for how he treated her - there's a lot of bad blood there now. She's devastated that she's essentially lost both of her daughters, they were the main people in her life."

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