Tina Carter heads to prison in tonight’s EastEnders to visit her sister Shirley and for many fans, there was a bit of a brilliant throwback as seeing Linda Henry and Luisa Bradshaw-White in the jail setting brought back some real Bad Girls nostalgia.
Both actresses had prominent roles in the ITV prison drama although their characters didn’t really cross cross paths. Luisa played a prison officer called Lorna Rose until the ninth episode of the first series, which is when Linda made her debut as Yvonne Atkins.
Lorna was blackmailed by Shell Dockley (played by Coronation Street star Debra Stephenson) into smuggling in drugs and was caught and arrested for her crime. Yvonne then swaggered onto the wing and became the top dog, before being brutally killed by Jim Fenner at the end of the fifth season.
The Carter family was a proper Bad Girls reunion as Kellie Bright, who plays Linda, had a stint in the fourth season as con artist Cassie Tyler – who even made a pass at Yvonne at one stage.
Much later on in the run, Annette Badland – who later went on to take the role of Aunt Babe – played Angela Robbins, a seemingly sweet inmate who later was revealed to be suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder and attacked Amanda Donohoe’s wing governor character Louise Stoke.
With the exception of Yvonne and Cassie, the characters all had nothing to do with each other but it’s still a pretty neat coincidence that they ended up as members of the same Walford family.
And now, with Linda Henry back inside, things have gone full circle – let’s just hope Tina doesn’t start smuggling in drugs stashed in bottles of perfume.