Spice Girl Emma reveals the 'EastEnders' role she just missed out on

Emma Bunton
Emma Bunton almost landed a role in EastEnders! (Image credit: Getty Images)

Spice Girl Emma Bunton has revealed that she auditioned for a role in EastEnders, and was actually very close to being cast!

In an interview with Radio X, Emma said that she went after the role of Bianca Jackson, who has been played by Patsy Palmer since 1993 when she first arrived in Walford. 

The auditions were open before the Spice Girls formed, and Emma revealed her career could have looked very different if she'd been given the part in the BBC soap.

Speaking to radio presenter Chris Moyles, Emma said: "I would have liked to go to uni, but two weeks before that was the EastEnders audition for Bianca and I got down to the last three.

"Yeah, and I was devastated that I didn’t get that, but of course it was fate as I met the girls and had the audition two weeks later."

The Spice Girls were formed in 1994, which saw Emma Bunton teaming up with Mel B, Mel C, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham to create the now legendary girl group. They were first active between 1994–2000 before having a short break and returning in 2007. Their most recent reunion took place in 2012 for the Olympics in London.

However, Emma did briefly have a part in EastEnders when she played a mugger in 1992, one year before Bianca arrived in town. Emma has also enjoyed other TV parts, notably playing herself in the Lee Mack comedy Not Going Out. The episode saw Lee's character desperately trying to get a picture with his crush Emma, with predictably hilarious results.

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Meanwhile, Patsy Palmer has been the face of Bianca Jackson since the character's arrival, but despite a brief reunion in 2019, the character departed the Square once again. However, we suspect it won't be too long before we see Bianca again.

EastEnders continues on BBC1 — see our TV Guide for full listings.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress