Nicola Stapleton is set for a skimpy return to EastEnders - as a stripper. The actress, and her wild child alter-ego Mandy Salter, left Albert Square in 1994, and it looks like her comeback could lead to sparks flying. An EastEnders spokesperson told The Sun: "Mandy's grown up a bit but she's still fun, chaotic and wild - with a spiteful streak. She is a manipulative force of nature, so it's likely that she'll be causing trouble for at least one of Walford's residents." Teenage runaway Mandy - Sam Mitchell's best friend and Ricky Butcher's ex - is discovered in a lap dancing club by Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), who offers to help her get back on her feet after seeing her in dire straits. Nicola, who has had appearances on Bad Girls, The Bill, Casualty, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks, has spent her first week of filming in her smalls. "Nicole doesn't look like she has aged since she left. She looks amazing," a source told the paper. "She found it a bit strange to film her first scenes in underwear and bikinis but she joked that she might as well jump straight back in."
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.