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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 11:11 GMT
Benjamin returns to EastEnders
Lucy Benjamin and Steve McFadden in EastEnders
The episodes will reveal all
Actress Lucy Benjamin is returning to BBC One's EastEnders for a series of special episodes which will reveal the fate of her character, Lisa Fowler.

A BBC spokesman said that more than one ending had been filmed and the eventual outcome was a "closely guarded secret".

The character was last seen in the soap in October when she fled to Portugal with her baby to escape her domineering partner Phil Mitchell, played by Benjamin's real-life boyfriend Steve McFadden.

The soap opera saw Mitchell track her down and return to Albert Square with baby Louise, but what actually happened in Portugal was not revealed.

The BBC spokesman refused to reveal whether one of the endings involved Benjamin's character dying at the hands of Mitchell.

Lucy Benjamin and Steve McFadden as Lisa and Phil
Lisa and Phil have had a stormy relationship
He said the special episodes would finally reveal why she had not returned to Albert Square with Mitchell, but would not say when the episodes would be aired.

Success

BBC bosses are no doubt hoping the episodes will help continue the soap's run of ratings success.

EastEnders pulled in an audience of nearly 12 million for a December episode featuring Martin Fowler running over Jamie Mitchell.

The accident happened as banned driver Fowler - played by James Alexandrou - tried to send a text message on his mobile phone while at the wheel.

It was the second time in one week that the show had pulled in a large audience, with an earlier episode drawing 12.6 million.

BBC bosses are hoping the soap's success will boost ratings when it is screened to help launch the digital channel BBC Three on Sunday 9 February.

The soap will be screened on the channel for a two-week period - one day before it is shown in its regular BBC One slot.

The move has been rumoured for months but was confirmed by the BBC on Tuesday.

See also:

07 Jan 03 | Entertainment
20 Dec 02 | Entertainment
26 Nov 02 | Entertainment
20 Nov 02 | Entertainment
25 Dec 01 | Entertainment
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