11 FEBRUARY 2004
Fans of British soap EastEnders will soon be meeting some of the favourite characters as they have never seen them before. Because producers of the show have decided to take a step back in time by making a special episode set in the 1960s.
In the one-off special, viewers will be shown the background to the life-long rift between characters Pat Butcher and Mo Harris. In the Albert Square of the Swinging Sixties, the pair are seen as inseparable friends. But when Mo marries Pat's brother Jimmy, the two pals fall out - in spectacular fashion. Actress Emma Cook has signed up to play the young Pat, while a youthful Mo will be portrayed by newcomer Lorraine Stanley.
And those who have avidly followed the many ups and downs of Pat's life needn't worry about her being upstaged her new incarnation. Because actress Pam St Clement, who has been playing the inimitable Ms Butcher for nearly 20 years, has just signed a £200,000 deal to stay on in the role. Insiders at the BBC say the new contract, which is for two more years, also guarantees her more dramatic storylines.