Jill Gascoine has been cast in the role of Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell's long-lost mother Glenda in EastEnders. The 72-year-old actress, who has starred in CATS Eyes and The Gentle Touch, will shock the sisters when she turns up in Walford unannounced. Roxy (Rita Simons) and Ronnie (Samantha Womack) have never forgiven Glenda since she walked out on them and her then-husband Archie (Larry Lamb) when the girls were in their early teens. And when she arrives in Albert Square, they will be stunned by her transformation from their nervous and quiet mother to polished, self-made woman. Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor), who knew Glenda previously, will also be amazed by how much she has changed. Jill said: "I'm thrilled to be joining the cast of EastEnders and I am really excited to be back on British TV." Executive producer Diederick Santer added: "I'm so looking forward to welcoming the hugely talented Jill to EastEnders. I have a very clear memory of watching CATS Eyes every Friday night, while - to the fury of my mother - munching my way through an entire packet of Jaffa Cakes. "Jill's character, Maggie Forbes, was always my favourite - tough, glamorous, and exciting - perfect qualities for Glenda Mitchell." Jill has had a varied career as both an actress and novelist and has appeared in many television series, films and theatre productions. Jill will appear in EastEnders from early 2010. Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk's new weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop
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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.