EastEnders star Linda Henry talks Sharon’s return and how Shirley finds the weapon that was used to kill Heather!

There’s a good deal of drama ahead for Walford’s Shirley Carter, and it begins with the return of Sharon Rickman, who of course once had an affair with Shirley’s bloke, Phil Mitchell.

And Sharon’s timing couldn’t be worse as far as Shirley’s concerned, because next week, we’ll see her propose to Phil (Steve McFadden) and when he accepts, the couple happily celebrate their engagement with a party in the Vic.

However, a distress call from Sharon (Letitia Dean) sends Phil running to her aid, despite the fact it’s literally in the middle of his own engagement celebration, and not unreasonably, that leaves Shirley rather unimpressed.

As fans will know, Sharon’s return will be marked by episodes on seven consecutive night as of August 13th, and it’s also during the special week that Shirley will learn that Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe) murdered her BFF, Heather Trott…

However, of Sharon’s return to Walford, Linda Henry – who of course plays Shirley – has told All About Soap magazine that her character will see Sharon as a threat from the get go.

She said, “Shirley does trust Phil, but she knows how much history he has with Sharon.

“Shirley and Sharon are complete opposites, so I think she finds it hard to believe Phil would choose her over Sharon, when she knows how he used to feel about his ex.

“She’s worried that old spark will reunite.”

Linda went on to reveal that when Phil runs off to help Sharon – whose young son has been kidnapped by her fiancé on what should have been their wedding day – Shirley goes to visit Denise Fox (Diane Parish) and the pair end up talking about Shirley’s estranged daughter Carly…

But while they’re chatting, Shirley spots the photo frame that she gave to Heather as a present, and immediately suspicious that it could well be the murder weapon, she quizzes Denise about it.

Linda explained, “[Shirley and Denise] have a heart-to-heart about Carly, but then Shirley spots the photo frame on the fireplace.

“She’s sure it’s the one that the murderer used to kill Heather. She wants to make sure she isn’t imagining it.

“She demands to know where Denise got it from.”

And of what Shirley will do next, Linda said, “I think her first reaction will be to go to the police…

“But they’ve not been very helpful so far and have even criticised her for getting involved in the investigation.

“So I think she could change her mind and decide that she wants to catch the killer herself.”

The exact details of how Shirley links the find to Ben haven’t as yet been revealed, but I can’t wait to find out!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.