EastEnders reveals first look at former Emmerdale star in HUGE new Walford role

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An ex Emmerdale actor has landed a role in EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders bosses have confirmed that ex-Emmerdale star Patsy Kensit will appear on screen as Lola Pearce's (Danielle Harold) long-lost mother, Emma Harding, from next month.

Patsy is well known in the soap world, playing villain Sadie King in Emmerdale and Faye Morton in Holby City. Now, she will play the role of Lola's never-before-seen mother for a short stint in EastEnders.

Emma left Lola and her father behind when Lola was only three years old and has never been seen on-screen before. But what has led to her explosive arrival in Walford and how will Lola react as she's forced to come face-to-face with her estranged mum as well as cope with her devastating brain tumour diagnosis?

Speaking of joining the show, Patsy said: “I’m so excited to be visiting Walford for this storyline. It has always been a dream of mine to appear in EastEnders. The cast, producers, writers and crew have been wonderful, and I’ve had a ball. Thank you so much for having me.”

Patsy Kensit as Emma Harding in EastEnders

Patsy Kensit will play Lola's mum, Emma Harding in EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders executive producer Chris Clenshaw added: “We’re delighted to welcome the wonderfully talented Patsy to the EastEnders family. She’s the perfect fit to take on the role of such a long-awaited character that we know very little about. Softly spoken and measured, on one hand Emma is the very opposite of her long-lost daughter, Lola. 

"But on the other, there’s a striking resemblance; successful, the capacity to hold her own — if she says she’ll do something, she’ll do it — and she’s a fighter, just like Lola. Having spent a lifetime apart, Emma becomes desperate to make up for lost time, but her secret sadness and guilt are never far from the surface. 

Lola Pearce holding a coffee wearing a bright pink crop top with a velvet tracksuit

Lola Pearce's long lost mother unexpectedly shows up in Albert Square. (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

"The burden of losing her daughter has never left her, but can she find the courage to tell her shocking truth and reconnect with Lola, or will it come too little, too late? 

"Patsy’s portrayal is bound to set off fireworks in Walford and cause havoc for the Mitchell household.”

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.