Tamzin Outhwaite re-joins EastEnders

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 25 October 2017
Tamzin Outhwaite

Tamzin Outhwaite

Tamzin Outhwaite is to reprise her role as Melanie Owen in 'EastEnders' in 2018 - almost 16 years after she last played the part

Tamzin Outhwaite is to return to 'EastEnders'.

The 46-year-old actress will reprise her role as Melanie Owen in 2018, nearly 16 years after she last appeared as the character, and the star admitted she simply "couldn't refuse" an offer to return to Albert Square.

She said: "When I got the call from John Yorke, the show's creative director, I just couldn't refuse. John created Mel's most memorable storylines so it is an honour he has asked me to return.

"'EastEnders' is in my DNA and I always knew deep down that someday I would revisit Mel - she is a strong, independent woman with lots more stories to tell. To be stepping back into the character's shoes nearly 20 years after I first stated feels perfect."

While 'EastEnders' bosses are remaining tight-lipped about Mel's returning plot, creative director John teased fans they can expect an "incredible storyline".

He said: "It's particularly exciting to welcome her back to Walford for an incredible storyline - one that will awaken a lot of old ghosts, some great memories, and whole new series of adventures.

"We're thrilled and flattered to have Tamzin home and can't wait to reveal where she's been, and who Melanie Owen is now."

Mel had a number of exciting storylines, including marrying Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) in a joint Millennium wedding with Barry (Shaun Williamson) and Natalie Evans (Lucy Speed) on New Year's Eve 1999.

But it didn't last long as she dumped him hours later when the clock struck midnight after finding out he'd lied his daughter Lucy had a terminal illness to stop her leaving him.

Mel departed Walford in April 2002 after being implicated in the crimes of her late gangster husband Steve Owen, who was played by Martin Kemp.

Facing a lengthy prison sentence, she fled the country for Portugal with the £30,000 bail money Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) had put up for her.

Before she left, Mel also found out she was pregnant with Steve's baby and that her best friend Lisa Fowler (Lucy Benjamin) had shot Phil.

Lisa and her daughter Louise Mitchell - who is now portrayed by Tilly Keeper - went to live with Mel in Portugal later that year.

Since departing 'EastEnders', Tamzin has appeared in several TV shows, including alongside Max Beesley in 'Hotel Babylon' in 2006, and she starred opposite Nicholas Lyndhurst in 'New Tricks', in which she played DCI Sasha Miller for two years.

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