Elaine Peacock is about to make quite the impression in EastEnders’ Queen Vic, as the character returns to Albert Square.
We last saw Elaine back in 2017, and fans will notice that she looks quite different – as a new actress has taken over the role.
Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), has been scheming to keep control of the pub, and her best mate Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) is left raging when she discovers that Elaine will be the co-owner and she won’t be landlady after all.
Cue a massive fight between Linda and Sharon.
And Panesars aren’t happy either – they’d been convinced the Queen Vic would be theirs.
So as Elaine steps in the hornet’s nest, who is she and who plays her?
Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Elaine Peacock?
Elaine is Linda’s mum, and the person her daughter has been making secret phone calls to over the last few weeks.
She reveals herself as the new co-owner of the Queen Vic pub.
Linda had decided to sell in the wake of hubby Mick Carter’s (Danny Dyer) disappearance – and kept stringing Sharon and the Panesars along in case her mystery buyer fell through.
But larger-than-life Elaine rocks up and announces she’s the new landlady – and she brings her new family, the Knights, with her.
Elaine first appeared back in 2014 after Linda’s rape ordeal.
Back in late 2016, Linda took a phone call informing her that Elaine, a widow, had a stroke, so she left the Square to care for her in Watford, where Elaine had her own pub.
It was during that time that Linda was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and stayed with Elaine, pretending her mum was still poorly, while she secretly underwent treatment. We haven’t seen Elaine on-screen since.
Elaine’s now dating George Knight (Colin Salmon), ‘a tough-talking and fiercely protective doting dad who heads up the Knight family’.
He has two daughters, Anna Knight (Molly Rainford) and Gina Knight (Francesca Henry).
She’s described as ‘an ultimate matriarch with a huge and vivid personality and a heart of gold, who takes no prisoners…but has a vulnerable side that she only shows a select few’.
Who plays Elaine?
Elaine is now played by Harriet Thorpe – but she was previously played by West End star Maria Friedman.
Her character is described as ‘a powerhouse of a landlady who knows just how to have fun’.
Harriet, 65, got her TV breakthrough with sitcom The Brittas Empire during the 1990s, and she went on to appear in the movie Calendar Girls.
She has guest starred in various TV series, including Midsomer Murders, Doctors, Casualty and Hollyoaks – but many fans will know her from Absolutely Fabulous.
Harriet said: ‘I’m thrilled to be playing Elaine who is an ultimate matriarch with a huge and vivid personality with a heart of gold who takes no prisoners and fights with all she’s got, but has a vulnerable side that she only shows a select few.
‘The Vic needs strong women running it, and I want to honour the incredible, iconic queens who define EastEnders since the beginning.
‘The East End is where my family started out, so for me this feels like coming home!’
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