EastEnders FAVOURITE to make a return – but who is it?

(Image credit: BBC)

The former wild child is now all grown up…

EastEnders bosses have announced that Lola Pearce – played by actress Danielle Harold - will be returning to Walford in the new year, with her now six year old daughter Lexi in tow. 

The feisty blonde – granddaughter of Billy Mitchell – hasn’t been seen since 2015, when she left the square to start a new life in Newcastle.

Young mum Lola is in the spotlight when her new social worker turns up...

Lola is set to be “more confident than ever” when she returns

Show sources say that the new, grown-up Lola will be “more confident than ever” and “isn’t bothered about what anyone thinks of her.” But they’re keeping quiet about what brings Lola back.

Says actress Danielle Harold: “I’m so excited to be returning to EastEnders next year. EastEnders was my first acting job and I have so many happy memories from my time there. I can’t believe it’s been over three years since I left, and I can’t wait to get back and find out what Lola has been up to”

Adds Kate Oates, EastEnders Senior Executive Producer: “As a viewer, I always admired Lola’s fiesty, fiery spirit, and viewers will have a lot to look forward to with her return. 

“How will Jay respond seeing the love of his life walk back into Walford after all these years? And how will Billy feel to have his best girl back in town? I can’t wait!”

Phil confronts Lola about her claim that Ben is Lexi's father…

Lola will be returning with daughter Lexi - Phil Mitchell's granddaughter

Lola first arrived in Walford in 2011, after Billy and then girlfriend, Julie Perkins, decided to track down a son they had had as teenagers, and whom Julie had put up for adoption. They learnt that the lad, Dan, had died, but discovered they had a granddaughter, Lola, who was in care.

Billy swiftly brought her back to the square, and Lola later slept with Ben Mitchell as a test to see if he was really gay – an encounter that led to Lola getting pregnant and famously giving birth in McClunky’s during a live episode of EastEnders to mark the London 2012 Olympics. 

Subsequent storylines included a custody battle for Lexi with Phil Mitchell, an ill-fated relationship with Peter Beale, and a romance with Jay Mitchell – which ended when Lola moved to Newcastle and subsequently announced she had got together with former Walford resident, Dexter Hartman.

EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

Written by Alison Slade

Picture credits: BBC/Colin Hutton and BBC/Jack Barnes

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.