EastEnders bosses surprise star on completing 2000th episode

EastEnders bosses dropped a huge surprise on actress Letitia Dean as she finished for the day – she’d just wrapped on filming her 2000th episode, and had absolutely no idea.

Exec producer Jon Sen and senior exec Kate Oates surprised the legendary Sharon Mitchell actress with a huge bouquet as she finished a scene with Steve McFadden.

The 51-year-old actress has played Sharon Mitchell on the BBC One soap on and off since 1985, so the show’s bosses interrupted filming to pay tribute to her services to the programme and present her with the bunch of flowers.

Jon Sen told the actress: ‘I would like to say congratulations to a wonderful actress, a fantastic company member, and a national icon who just completed her 2,000th episode.’

A shocked Letitia uttered: ‘No! Thank you.’

She then turned to Steve – who has played Phil Mitchell since 1990 – and said: ‘I couldn’t have done it without you, Steve.’

He joked in response: ‘She’s right. You’re right.’

Speaking in a behind-the-scenes video posted on the EastEnders Twitter account, Kate Oates said: ‘It’s an amazing achievement by anyone’s standards.’

The caption beside the twitter post read: ‘This week the legend that is Letitia Dean aka Sharon Mitchell filmed her 2000th episode of #EastEnders!

‘Now that’s an occasion to be marked. Congratulations Letitia.’

Letitia joined EastEnders in 1985 after starring as Lucina Oliver in Grange Hill and in one episode of now-defunct soap Brookside.

She left Walford in 1995 but returned in 2001 for a five-year stint.

Though she left again she couldn’t stay gone for ever, and reprised her role in 2012.

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