17 APRIL 2008

A low-cut red swimsuit teamed with a leopard-print stetson is an outfit Wendy Richard's dowdy EastEnders character Pauline Fowler would never have considered wearing. The 64-year-old actress' new role in Benidorm, however, called for her to don the racy outfit for a poolside altercation in one of her first major screen appearances since leaving Albert Square last year.

Wendy guest stars in the Spain-set comedy as glamorous yet interfering mum Sylvia, who arrives to sort out the tangled love life of her daughter Kelly - played by Niky Wardley.

Things don't go exactly according to plan, though. And Wendy's character ends up having a mobility scooter face-off with Sheila Reid's Madge, after she's accused of trying to steal Madge's man.

The platinum-blonde actress says she was keen to try her hand at something new after playing cardigan-loving matriarch Pauline for so long. One thing she hadn't counted on, though, was learning how to manoeuvre a mobility scooter. "I don't drive, so we had a few run-ins - and I mean literal run-ins - on that scooter!" she reveals. "I hit a camera, a potted plant several times and even ran over a couple of artistes."

Viewers can check out Wendy's driving when the scenes air this Friday on ITV at 9pm.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The former EastEnder plays an interfering mother in the Spain-set comedy Photo: © ITV / Tiger Aspect
Photo: © Alphapress.com
In Benidorm to sort out her daughter's love life, Wendy's character Sylvia becomes embroiled in a dispute with Madge as they compete for the attentions of MelPhoto: © ITV / Tiger Aspect
Photo: © Alphapress.com
An altercation over a man leads to her character ending up in the pool covered in sun tan lotionPhoto: © ITV / Tiger Aspect
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