TV & Movies

Two of Eastenders' most iconic characters, Lofty and Mary the Punk, are set to return to Albert Square after 30 years

Tom Watt and Linda Davidson will reprise their roles for a storyline next year that will see another of the soap’s original characters killed off.

The pair will be back in Walford after the death of Dr Harold Legg, played by Leonard Fenton, 92.

Mary and Lofty were two of the show’s 26 characters when it launched in 1985 — appearing in episodes three and five respectively.

But neither have been seen in Walford since their final appearances in 1988.

Tom, 62, and Linda, 54, are now expected on set at the show’s Elstree Studios, in Hertfordshire, in the coming days.

A formal announcement from the BBC about their comeback will then follow.

The pair were seen together in 2015 at celebrations for the 30th anniversary of EastEnders.

A soap source told The Sun: “Lofty and Mary The Punk are two of the most memorable characters of the original set of stars.

“It’s staggering to think it’s been more than 30 years since they were last on the Square but soap fans will be delighted to hear of their comeback.

“Regular viewers will know Dr Legg’s health is bad and it’s thought his death will play out in February next year, and these two will be back around the time of his funeral.”

Mary was seen as one of EastEnders’ most controversial characters at its launch — a former punk rock groupie and drug user whose wild lifestyle put her baby at risk.

Barely able to write, she couldn’t look after her child without her neighbours’ help and earned her living as a prostitute.

Actress Linda, who was born in Canada, dated co-star Nejdet Salih, who played cafe owner and minicab driver Ali Osman.


She later gave up acting to work in web design and now runs a social media agency.

And George “Lofty” Holloway — the barman at The Queen Vic pub — was hopelessly in love with Michelle Fowler, who also returned last year played by Jenna Russell rather than original actress Susan Tully.

Michelle dumped him at the altar at their first wedding, but they later married after she had Dirty Den’s illegitimate child, Vicki.

Lofty left the soap after their relationship broke down to become a social worker.

In real life, aside from a few small roles, actor Tom moved into sports journalism and regularly appears on radio.

He also ghostwrote David Beckham’s autobiography.

He recently praised his time on the soap and his character, saying: “I had really good working relationships with people like Leslie Grantham (Den Watts), Anita Dobson (Angie Watts) and Sue Tully.

“Lofty was a really rewarding character to play — a beautiful mix of comedy and proper drama.”

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