Gascoine out, Barber in at EastEnders

Jill Gascoine has pulled out of her role as Glenda Mitchell on BBC One soap EastEnders.

The role of Ronnie and Roxy’s long-lost mother will instead be played by former Night and Day and Emmerdale actress Glynis Barber.

The Gentle Touch star Jill Gascoine has decided to ‘step down’ from the role, according to reports, some of which suggest that she didn’t anticipate what an undertaking working on such a fast-moving production would be.

This is a problem Barber is unlikely to have after playing Fiona Brake in the short-lived LWT saga Night and Day, between 2001 and 2003, and DCI Grace Barraclough in Emmerdale more recently.

However, Barber is best remembered for her role as Harriet Makepeace in the fondly remembered 1980’s cop-drama Dempsey and Makepeace and also for appearing in the last series of Blakes 7 as Soolin.

She has already started filming with EastEnders and will make her first on-screen appearance as Glenda Mitchell in the New Year.