When characters return to shows such as EastEnders, their comeback is often described as being “explosive” but in the case of Kellie Shirley’s return to the BBC1 drama to reprise the role of Carly Wicks, that adjective was very nearly a literal one!
Speaking to the Sun’s TV Biz, Kellie, who we’ll see back on our screens as Carly on Thursday night, explained how she nearly decimated the set in one of her first scenes.
She said, “I was so excited to make my big entrance back in Walford…
“But when I read the script and it said Carly would drive around Albert Square in a big truck I thought, ‘How am I going to do that?’
“The square is tiny so it’s not easy to manoeuvre a great big truck around it, especially when you are as small as I am…”
Kellie went on, “I put on Carly’s 5in heels and got in the truck, but as I started the engine and tried to drive in the heels, I couldn’t control it and ran over a load of electrical wires and almost blew the square up.
“Everyone was waving at me like crazy to stop the truck because I’d cut off all the cameras and lighting equipment.
“It’s just a good job I didn’t crash into the Queen Vic.
“We had to shoot the scene again but they were so nervous about letting me back in the driving seat, they had to get a double to do it instead.
“Nobody is supposed to know — but when you see the high heels first step out of the truck on to Albert Square, it isn’t actually me.
“I think everyone on set was quite relieved for their own safety after I got out.”
Carly is of course back because Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) called her to plead with her to come to Walford to try to sort out her boozy mum Shirley, (Linda Henry) who’s been on a bender for about two weeks now!
Of her return, Kellie said, “When I got the call to come back it was completely out of the blue.
“I had been filming with Judi Dench and Denise Van Outen in new movie Run For Your Wife and over in Germany shooting scenes for the film Girl On A Bicycle.
“I didn’t know whether I would be able to juggle it all — but I’m glad I could.
“It’s weird coming back and going into the dressing rooms and stepping on set again. It feels like you’re the new girl at school all over again.
“It was nice that Letitia Dean was back again filming too, so I wasn’t on my own.
“We were both quite nervous about returning when it is almost a completely different cast to when we were here last time. It’s easier when you see familiar faces.
“There are still so many of the crew who are still there from when I was here last time, which was lovely.
“I still keep in touch with Linda, who plays my mum.”
However, she added, “It was a shock having to get up at 5.30am again for filming and they were pretty intense scenes. I get a ‘duff duff’ music ending, so it was brilliant.
“I loved being back, even if it was only for a short while.
“The door is open so, who knows, as long as the production crew aren’t too annoyed at me for almost blowing up the set, Carly could be back on the square more often in future.”
As mentioned, we’ll see the return of Carly at 7.30pm on BBC1 on Thursday.