Phil's Best memory

Comic star Josie Lawrence has signed up to EastEnders as Manda Best — the childhood sweetheart of Phil Mitchell, TV Biz can reveal.

Josie — best known for starring in 1980s and 90s TV comedy improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway? — is to play the unlikely Romeo’s former love.

Her Walford-born character returns to Albert Square after her only son goes to university and her marriage collapses.

She soon starts dating Minty but it quickly becomes clear Manda still carries a torch for Phil.

A show insider said: “She returns and keeps busy by teaching night classes in art and pottery and drinking in E20.

“It’s not long before she bumps into familiar faces, including Phil, who she dated at school, and Minty. But are they pleased to see her?”

Josie’s Manda will be the latest love interest for Phil, who had been dating scheming Suzy Branning.

She’s already started filming and will appear on screen in March.

Josie, 49, told TV Biz: “I’m so excited. Everyone at EastEnders has made me feel so at home.

“It’s mind-boggling to walk into Albert Square after having watched the show for so many years! I can’t wait to see how my character develops on screen.”

EastEnders boss Diederick Santer added: “I’m so excited Josie’s joining us.

“I’ve enjoyed her brilliant comic performances for over 20 years, and can’t wait to see her in Walford.”

Since Whose Line? ended in 1998 after a ten-year TV run, Josie has acted with the RSC and still does comedy improvisation with London troupe the Comedy Store Players.

Her last TV appearance was on E4 hit Skins where she played Liz Jenkins, the estranged mother of Sid Jenkins.

Source - The Sun

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