Nicola Stapleton back as Mandy in EastEnders

Nicola Stapleton back as Mandy in EastEnders
Nicola Stapleton back as Mandy in EastEnders (Image credit: BBC)

Former EastEnders star Nicola Stapleton is to return to the show after 17 years to reprise her role as Mandy Salter. The actress was last seen as a teenage tearaway, living rough at times and involved with drugs and crime. Mandy will return to Albert Square in the autumn, the BBC said, giving residents 'a shock'. The character left the show in 1994 as she accompanied boyfriend Aidan - played by Sean Maguire - on his return to Ireland. Since leaving the show, Nicola has appeared in dramas such as Bad Girls, as well as taking roles in The Bill and Casualty. She also appeared in ITV1's rival soap Emmerdale and a spin-off of Channel 4's Hollyoaks. Nicola, 36, said: "I'm looking forward to playing Mandy again, it will be interesting to see what she's been up to all this time. "I'm excited to be coming back and working with some old friends." Her character is said to have grown up, but is still ,fun, chaotic and wild, with a spiteful streak. The BBC said of her return: "Mandy is a manipulative force of nature so it's more than likely she'll be causing trouble for at least one of Walford's well known residents." Other stars who have returned to Walford after years away include Leslie Grantham as 'Dirty' Den Watts, Jessie Wallace as Kat Moon and Shane Richie as her husband Alfie. Patsy Palmer also made a comeback as Bianca Jackson, while Danniella Westbrook reprised her role as Sam Mitchell.

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.