Actress delighted to be back in hit soap

Letitia Dean would love to become an EastEnders matriarch.

The blonde has had two long stints in the BBC soap since appearing in the very first episode in 1985, with her character Sharon Watts leaving in 2006 as a pregnant widow following the death of husband Dennis Rickman.

But now that she’s back in Albert Square – wearing a wedding dress after jilting her latest man at the altar – Letitia is keen to stick around.

‘I feel like a bit of a second in command,’ says Letitia, 44.

‘I’m now 45 in the show and I was 16 when I started so I’m hopefully going to become a matriarch. I bloody feel like one.

‘I was given a storyline and it felt right. I think the public like having a bit of old familiarity.’

Letitia admits that there was talk of giving Sharon a bit of a new look.

‘Her skirts have got a bit longer and her hair slightly bigger,’ Letitia tells the Daily Mirror.

‘But there’s still that 80s theme. There was an idea to make her a bit more edgy – as an actress, part of you wants to come back with a nice short, dark bob.

‘But I think the public like people who don’t really change their decade much. To slip back into Sharon, I just need shoulder pads and sugar plum lustre.’

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Anna Francis