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Sunday, 27 January, 2002, 20:36 GMT
Ricky and Bianca film soap return
Palmer and Owen were reunited in Manchester
Palmer and Owen were reunited in Manchester
Patsy Palmer and Sid Owen, the soap stars who played infamous EastEnders characters Bianca and Ricky Butcher, filmed a one-off return to the show on Sunday.

The slot will be screened in spring and will let fans of the show catch up with what happened to the characters after they left.

Producers were keeping details of the storyline close to their chests, but a segment for an hour-long special has been filmed in the city, the home of soap rival Coronation Street.

Baby Liam was born in 1998
The way thery were: Liam was born in 1998
Palmer left the show after six years in 1999 to spend more time with her family and to concentrate on other projects.

Her feisty character Bianca was known for her piercing cry of "Ricky" when she was unhappy with her other half.

Bianca and Ricky were also known for their unstable relationship, both having affairs.

When Palmer, 29, left, scriptwriters decided to make her character head to Manchester with baby Liam to start a fashion course and a new life.

But Owen, 30, left the soap the following year, and his character was last seen hitching a lift on a lorry bound for Europe.

Influence

Owen had been in the soap for 12 years, and his character had first been married to Sam Mitchell, played by Daniella Westbrook.

Although both actors have gone on to pursue other projects, neither has managed to shed the influence of their overbearing EastEnders characters.

Palmer has starred in animal series Battersea Dogs Home and detective drama McCready and Daughter as well as being a guest host on GMTV.

Owen launched a bid for pop stardom - but is only single release was a flop.

See also:

23 Jun 00 | Entertainment
What Ricky done next
20 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Ricky waves goodbye to Walford
15 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Patsy has early baby
22 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Patsy Palmer to leave EastEnders
08 Sep 99 | Entertainment
EastEnder Patsy to join GMTV
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