In an interview with Inside Soap Diederick Santer revealed which characters he’d love to bring back to the show following the successful returns of Bianca Jackson and Ricky Butcher.
Santer told the weekly publication that he would happily bring back Kathy and Cindy Beale had his predecessors not killed them off.
Cindy’s off-screen death happened in 1998 while giving birth to a daughter in prison but speculation over a possible return for the character has been rife over the years with claims her “death” could have been faked.
Kathy was killed off more recently to facilitate the reintroduction of Ben Mitchell – Kathy’s son with Phil – into the soap’s storylines in February 2006. The move was definitely not popular with the show’s fans.
Gillian Taylforth, who played Kathy for 15 years, had said she would be happy to return to EastEnders if she could fit it around her other commitments but the producer at the time, Kate Harwood, decided to kill the character off-screen anyway.
“The two people I really want back can’t come back, because someone else killed them off! They’re Kathy Beale and Cindy Beale. With Kathy, she’s Ian’s mum, Phil’s ex and Ben’s mum- there are so many possibilities there. And I loved Cindy.” – Diederick Santer
However, fans shouldn’t get their hopes up that either character will be walking the streets of Walford again as Santer ruled out bringing them back from the dead. In the interview Santer stated the failed revival of Den Watts as the reason why.
“You can’t bring the dead back. Look what happened when they did that with Den Watts- it’s short-term gain, long-term pain. The audience would think we’d lost our marbles again!”
EastEnders producer Louise Berridge revived the character of Den Watts, as played by Leslie Grantham, in 2003, despite the character having been killed off in 1989. However, the return was widely criticised and came at a time when EastEnders was suffering from declining ratings and a series of poorly received storylines. Scheming Den was killed off once more in 2005.