Lisa Faulkner has announced she will be joining the cast of EastEnders. The 45-year-old cooking extraordinaire, who won Celebrity MasterChef in 2010, will appear on screen this spring as "stylish, sophisticated" businesswoman Fi Browning. Sharing her delight over the exciting new role, Lisa exclusively told HELLO! about the moment she found out she landed the dream gig. "I literally got a phone call from my agent saying that the producers would really love to meet me to come in and talk about something," she revealed. "I said, 'Ok' and they told me about this character and asked me if I'd like to play her. She's a great character, it's really exciting, and it was just one of those things you can't turn down. It always comes out of nowhere, these things, and you go, 'OK, let's jump in'."
Speaking about the character she will be taking on, Lisa said in a statment: "Fi Browning is a hugely exciting character and I'm really looking forward to working with Sean and all the team, and revealing more about her. I can't say any more now as I'm sworn to secrecy, but it's going to be a lot of fun." Executive producer Sean O'Connor has also teased fans, describing Lisa's character as a "no-nonsense but sophisticated business woman" who has her "sights" set on another Walford resident. He revealed: "Fi Browning is something of a departure for EastEnders; a no-nonsense but sophisticated business woman with strength and vulnerability. But does she have an agenda? And who - or what - has she set her sights on?"
Lisa Faulkner will play businesswoman Fi Browning in EastEnders
Lisa, who is currently dating fellow chef John Torode, has fronted various food-related projects - including her role as brand ambassador for Change4Life Be Food Smart. The TV personality has also co-hosted a TV show called Real Food Family Cook Off and has released various cookbooks. Shortly after the news of her joining the beloved soap was unveiled, Lisa took to her Twitter page to thank fans for their support. "Thank you for your lovely tweets about @bbceastenders very excited," she tweeted. Her boyfriend John also shared: "So it's a big wonderful congrats to my girl @lisafaulkner1 for the new part in @bbceastenders." [sic]
Last month, EastEnders bosses confirmed Blue singer Lee Ryan is also set to join the show for a short stint to play bad boy "Woody" Woodward. "He's going to ruffle some feathers and obviously break some hearts, so there's a great deal to look forward to as soon as he bursts onto the square," said Sean in a statement at the time. "Lee is perfect casting for Albert Square and we knew straight away we wanted him for the role."
Lisa's book, From Mother to Mother: Recipes from a Family Kitchen, is out on 9th March