Denise Welch to play mum of trans male character in EastEnders
Denise Welch is to take to Albert Square to play the mum of trans character Kyle Slater.
The star will play Alison in the BBC soap, who returns to the square to visit her son Kyle Branning, played by trans actor Riley Carter Millington.
The episode will see the mother and son meet for the first time since Kyle’s transition.
Welch’s character, will struggle to accept her son’s transition.
On taking to Albert Square, Welch said: “I’m thrilled to be part of such an iconic show. I have friends in the cast and can’t wait to start. It’s a short stint but such a powerful role and I’m thrilled to be taking it on.”
The character Kyle was announced last year, and is the first trans character in a major UK soap to be played by a trans actor.
Kyle arrived in Walford earlier this year, and has become close with his half-sister Stacey Branning.
The character wants to become a chef, after running the kitchen in his mum’s B&B in Blackpool.
Some where heartbroken to hear that son of Phil Mitchell, Ben, and his new partner Ben Coker, would leave the square shortly after getting together.
But even when Ben and Paul leave the square, there is still some gay action to be had on EastEnders, as John Partridge will reprise his role as Christian this summer for what promises to be an ‘explosive’ storyline.
His character is best remembered for his love affair with Muslim character Syed Masood – with the pair facing backlash when their relationship was exposed.
EastEnders bosses also recently recast gay character Johnny Carter – with actor Ted Reilly taking over the popular role previously played by Sam Strike.
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Strike originally played the character from 2013 to 2014 – winning acclaim for a storyline that saw him come out to his on-screen father Danny Dyer.
He recently spoke to Digital Spy about the recast, explaining that he wasn’t ready to return himself after leaving to pursue other acting projects.
He added: “I think it’s a great thing and that the character needs a facelift – and I wish whoever lands it the best of luck.”
Strike cited a “mixture” of reasons for his decision to quit, including a desire to branch out into acting and “try new things”.
However, he added: “I also didn’t really feel like at the time my character was necessarily needed in EastEnders.”