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EastEnders’ Mary the Punk actress reveals her 'bonkers' reunion with baby Annie star

EastEnders Mary Smith in The Vic
(Image credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

It’s a small world….

EastEnders actress Linda Davidson, who starred as punk Mary Smith, has revealed how she was randomly reunited with the woman who played her screen daughter, baby Annie.

Single mum Mary was a fixture in Walford from 1985-1988, but will make a brief return to Albert Square next week along with former resident Lofty Holloway, played by Tom Watt, to mark the passing of GP Dr. Legg.

Speaking to us about her guest appearance, 54-year-old Linda, who is now Director of Digital and Technology for the Jamie Oliver Group, revealed that she was doing some charity work around four years ago when she came across Samantha Crown – the “main” baby Annie, who played the part for two years.

Says Linda: “I volunteer for a charity that works with disadvantaged families in the UK living below the poverty threshold, and I was after some advice about the macro-economic effect of poverty on the UK on purchase power year after year - because if you’re brought up in poverty, you’re less likely to educationally attain and therefore more likely to live in poverty yourself.

“I came across this organisation and made contact with them, and lo and behold, she works there, doesn’t she! How bonkers is that! So we went out for a cup of tea. She’s about 32 now, and she’s so beautiful."

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The fictional Annie will return with Mary to the Square, and it will be revealed that both women are now very successful. The grown-up Annie will be played by Marilyn O’ Brien, who has had roles in A Touch of Cloth, Endeavour and Doctors.

EastEnders continues on BBC1.

Alison Slade
Alison Slade

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.