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Wednesday, 9 January, 2002, 14:22 GMT
Outhwaite 'lined up for ITV drama'
Tamzin's first major role outside Albert Square
Outhwaite plays a Military Police recruit in Red Cap
EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite may star in a new ITV1 drama series - after signing up for the new BBC One drama Red Cap.

Despite speculation that the BBC had offered the star a "golden handcuffs" contract which would have limited her to BBC projects, Outhwaite's agent has been in talks with ITV about a new thriller for the network.

We're confident that Tamzin will be attracted by the projects we've got

BBC spokesman
ITV head of drama Nick Elliott said that Outhwaite would be "very suitable" for the role of a gangster's moll in the planned series Frances Tuesday.

Mr Elliott told BBC News Online: "I like Frances Tuesday and I'd like to commit to it - it's one of a number of drama propositions waiting for the green light."

'Exclusive deal'

On Wednesday the Mirror reported that there had been "secret talks" between Outhwaite's agent and the network.

But a spokesman for BBC drama told BBC News Online: "Neither she nor we wanted to have a golden handcuffs deal.

Tamzin Outhwaite
Outhwaite's Mel: A key figure in EastEnders
"We're confident that Tamzin will be attracted by the projects we've got for her - whether or not she's part of an exclusive deal."

Red Cap, which followed Outhwaite's Sergeant Jo McDonagh as she joined the Army's Special Investigations Branch, was premiered over the Christmas period.

The BBC has already touted Outhwaite's Red Cap as one of the drama series likely to build audiences for BBC One when it returns later this year.

The 31-year-old actress revealed her decision to leave EastEnders in October, and will feature in her last episode of the soap in February.

See also:

08 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
ITV triumphs in drama ratings
01 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
BBC celebrates ratings 'success'
28 Dec 01 | Reviews
Tamzin can't cap Shackleton
05 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
EastEnder Tamzin bows out
26 May 01 | Entertainment
EastEnders triumph at UK soap awards
12 Jan 00 | Entertainment
EastEnder Tamzin's getting hitched
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