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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
EastEnders star has cancer
Wendy Richard
Richard has worked extensively for cancer charities
EastEnders actress Wendy Richard is recovering from a cancer operation after being diagnosed with the disease.


We all know what a fighter Wendy is

Louise Berridge, EastEnders
Richard, 56, who has played Pauline Fowler since the programme launched in 1985, discovered a lump on her neck while on holiday.

She had been given the all-clear by doctors after an earlier battle with breast cancer seven years ago.

The BBC One soap's executive producer, Louise Berridge, said doctors were "surprised" by the discovery.

Wendy Richard
Richard played Shirley Brahms in Are You Being Served?
"Wendy discovered a lump on her neck while on holiday, and this has been promptly removed," she added.

"It is too early to say what further treatment will be required, but all signs are hopeful, and Wendy herself is very positive in her outlook.

"Naturally, she will be taking some time out from EastEnders to recuperate, but we all know what a fighter Wendy is, and we look forward to welcoming her back very soon."

In her 17-year stint on the programme Richard's character has buried her husband, mother and twin brother, seen her daughter emigrate and coped with her son being diagnosed as HIV-positive.

Bill Treacher and Wendy Richard
Richard with EastEnders colleague Bill Treacher in 1985
But it was as a short-skirt-wearing and glamorous sales assistant Miss Brahms that she made her name in TV acting.

As Shirley Brahms in hit BBC sitcom Are You Being Served? she was the assistant and comic foil to the matronly Mrs Slocombe, played by Mollie Sugden.

The BBC show - set in the fictional Grace Bros department store - ran from 1973 to 1985 and its repeats still draw large audiences.

Richard has also worked extensively for cancer charities.

See also:

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