EastEnders star Nicola Stapleton on Mandy’s “cruel and cold” mum Lorraine

by Lynn Connolly

Next week, we’re set to meet Mandy Salter’s mum Lorraine, who of course has a track record of parenting that would make Herod a more preferable babysitter…

When Mandy was just a teenager, Lorraine – who was, at the time, played by Linda Henry who of course now plays Shirley Carter – dumped her daughter on Pat and Frank Butcher and ran away.

From that moment on, the already troubled and troublesome teen Mandy became a bit of a nightmare, and she of course eventually left Walford in 1994, having stolen money from Pauline Fowler and most of the other E20 residents for that matter.

However, last summer, Nicola Stapleton reprised the role of Mandy, and Mandy is of course now engaged to Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt)…

As far as we viewers know, Mandy has had nothing to do with her mum Lorraine – who’ll be played by Victoria Alcock – but she does have her phone number, which is how interfering Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater) sets Lorraine up to come back to Albert Square, unbeknownst to Mandy.

And I guess for me at any rate, that’s something of a plot hole; why would Mandy have her mum’s mobile phone number if she hasn’t had any contact with her for years? But maybe that will be addressed as the storyline progresses.

However, Nicola has been telling Inside Soap that though Mandy can “see right through” her devious and money grabbing mum, Lorraine manages to successfully pull the wool over Ian’s eyes.

She said, “Lorraine puts on a big act for Ian. Mandy can see straight through her, but Ian doesn’t understand why she’s getting her knickers in a twist.

“When Lorraine’s alone with Mandy, she’s really cruel and cold. But she’s very careful how she acts in front of everyone else.”

And when asked if the storyline could change viewers’ perceptions of Mandy, Nicola replied, “When you play a really prickly character like Mandy, it’s nice to take a look at why they behave like that.

“Whether it’ll make viewers warm to her, I don’t know. People love Mandy when she’s awful!”

We’ll see Lorraine’s arrival on Thursday, March 1 at 7.30pm on BBC1, but in the meantime, here’s a reminder of what Mandy was like back in the ’90s…

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.