Exciting news EastEnders fans! There’s a brand new family arriving in Albert Square this summer. The Taylor clan look set to cause a stir when they hit Walford, with brash single mum Karen – played by Lorraine Stanley – turning up with children Keanu (played by Benidorm star Danny Walters), Bernadette (newcomer Clair Norris), and their younger brothers Riley and Chatham (real-life siblings Tom and Alfie Jacobs). And they are bringing along some family pets too: Bronson the dog and Rooney the bearded dragon.
Announcing the exciting news, EastEnders executive producer Sean O'Connor said: "I am hugely excited at the arrival of Karen and her family in Albert Square. They're noisy, brash and not to be messed with. Karen is a 20-a-day lioness, bringing up her kids with no support, no money and a very loud mouth. But though they may lack cash, the Taylors have love and warmth in spades. This summer is going to be explosive as the Taylors settle in Walford. The Square will never be quite the same again."
EastEnders has revealed that Karen is a "fierce woman who won't hear a bad word said against her children", with sons Riley and Chatham both described as having learning difficulties. A spokesperson added: "Keanu sees himself as the man of the family and is protective over his siblings. He is a charming, happy-go-lucky lad, whereas Bernadette on the other hand has little interest in anything other than sitting around the house and dreaming of being famous. The siblings have an older sister, off-screen character called Chantelle, who lives nearby with her boyfriend and two children."
Speaking about her new role, Lorraine said: "I'm chuffed to be cast in such an iconic show that I've grown up watching. Working with my new family is really quite special, and I'm proud to play their mum." Actor Danny added: "Having only been filming EastEnders for a few weeks, I feel so privileged to already feel a part of the team. Everyone has been so friendly and kind and gone above and beyond to make us feel welcome and supported. There has been a huge buzz surrounding the new family and I am so excited to see what the future holds for the Taylors. Keanu is very grateful to live at Number 23 Albert Square, and will try his best not to disturb the peace in the Square."