EastEnders fan-favourite Shirley Carter is a much-loved character on the BBC soap, but she should be a very familiar face for die hard viewers of the show.
That’s because, back in the early 1990s, Shirley actress Linda Henry played a prostitute called Lorraine – the mother of troubled team Mandy Salter.
When Mandy was on the soap, she fell pregnant with Ricky Butcher’s baby and would return in 2011 as a potential love interest for Ian Beale.
Lorraine grew close to EastEnders legend Pat Butcher, who was having troubles in her married to Frank Butcher at the time.
But when they fell out in 1992, Lorraine left the soap, while her daughter Mandy stayed in Albert Square until 1994.
Linda Henry then wasn’t seen back in Walford until 2006, but this time it was as her new character Shirley Carter.
Shirley still had a link to Pat though, as she was Kevin Wicks’ ex, who was Pat’s nephew.
With Linda unable to ever reprise her role of Lorraine, something needed to be done.
In 2012, when Mandy was back, she confirmed that her mum Lorraine had died off-screen.
Of course, it’s not unusual for actors to have multiple roles within the same soaps over the years.
In EastEnders, Lorraine Stanley now plays Karen Taylor, who is another fan-favourite. She previously played the mother of Star just one year earlier.
Similarly, Shaun Williamson had a different role before eventually debuting as Barry Evans.
Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell, famed for playing Kevin Webster, though played a paperboy called Neil who worked at The Kabin.
And fellow Corrie icon Malcolm Hebden, who plays loveable Norris, appeared in the soap as a foreign character living in Bet Lynch’s block of flats.
EastEnders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC One