EastEnders' Lily Slater recast with new actress ahead of her mum Stacey returns

EastEnder character Lily Slater has been recast with a new actress ahead of her mum Stacey’s shock return to Walford.

Aine Garvey, who played Stacey’s daughter from 2014 to 2019, has been replaced with young star Lilia Turner.

The switch-up was revealed when the BBC added Lilia’s name to its cast list for next week’s episodes.

This isn’t the first time Lilia has appeared on the BBC soap, as she made a cameo in two episodes last year as Alyssa, one of the kids in Mick Carter and Mitch Baker’s football team.

The re-shuffle comes just in time for Stacey’s (Lacey Turner) bombshell return on Monday after a year away.

She’s pretty peeved to hear that Martin (James Bye) is now dating her best friend Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) and she’s ready for a confrontation or two.

Although Stacey doesn’t fancy sticking around, Ruby will tell her to stay so that Martin can still see his children.

Explaining Stacey’s reaction to Martin and Ruby’s romance, Lacey Turner told Digital Spy: ‘I think for Stacey, she just felt angry towards Ruby – that’s supposed to be her best friend.

‘She’s really sad about her and Martin. In her heart of hearts she does still love him and I think it’s quite hard her to watch them together. But in true Stacey style, she will just put on a front and pretend she doesn’t care.’

Ruby and Martin’s romance kicked off before lockdown, but the pair got together – and started living together – during lockdown itself.

Louisa previously told Metro.co.uk: ‘Luckily for Ruby, she had just bought a huge house just before lockdown, and Martin moved in.

‘She has spent the whole of lockdown in a new relationship, or building this new relationship. Very cosy! Shame we didn’t see it on screen!

‘For Ruby, Martin is the sort of person she has always wanted. She has come from a terrible background and has been on her own for many years. That’s what she was searching for. At the moment, it’s all fun. Stacey hasn’t been around but, obviously, she comes back!’

EastEnders airs Mondays and Fridays at 8.05pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm on BBC One

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