Jaime Winstone shares update on possible EastEnders return

Actor and The Masked Singer contestant Jaime Winstone has revealed whether she'd return to EastEnders again to reprise her role as a young Peggy Mitchell.

Winstone, who is currently appearing as Jenny in the West End play 2:22: Ghost Story, played the iconic character – made famous by late EastEnders actress Barbara Windsor – in a special flashback episode on the soap back in September 2022.

"Maybe later on in my career it would be something nice to have there," Winstone exclusively told Digital Spy. "Right now I'm really focused on the play. Film is my background and love and passion. I'm developing two films at the moment, so it wouldn't be anytime soon.

jaime winstone
David M. Benett - Getty Images

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"It's not something I ever thought I’d do – EastEnders – because my background is film, TV and stage," she explained. "I just took it as a really good opportunity to finish my story with her. And to play an iconic character like Peggy Mitchell – you don't really turn things like that down."

It's not the first time the Count Abdulla star has paid tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor, with Winstone previously playing the veteran actor in BBC biopic Babs in 2017.

Part of the reason Winstone accepted the EastEnders flashback role was to seek closure for her prior role in Babs.

peggy mitchell, eastenders

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"It was amazing," she said of her experience playing Peggy Mitchell. "I obviously played Babs in her biopic and her film which was with her. It was incredible but I never thought I bookended my journey with her – because I never got to play Peggy Mitchell. I played up until she went on to do EastEnders.

"So it was great. She was a great friend of mine and she passed and I really felt like I got the nod from her and I really enjoyed it."

Whilst Winstone has dismissed a return to Walford for the foreseeable, fans can see the star entertaining audiences in the Danny Robins-written stage thriller 2:22 Ghost Story.

Winstone stars opposite One Tree Hill's Sophia Bush, Game of Thrones actor Ricky Champ and McMafia star Clifford Samuel in the four-man show.

In the play, Winstone plays Jenny to Clifford's Sam, a husband and wife duo who've just moved into a new property. During a dinner party with old friend Lauren (Bush) and new partner Ben (Champ), Jenny shares her belief that her new home is haunted and asks her guests to stay up until 2:22am to get answers.

jaime winstone, ricky champ, sophia bush, clifford samuel, 222 a ghost story
PR Supplied/Helen Murray

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The play first premiered at the Noel Coward Theatre in 2021 starring singer Lily Allen, EastEnders star Jake Wood, and actors Julia Chan and Hadley Fraser. Other celebrities have since taken on the roles, including Harry Potter actor Tom Felton and Girls Aloud singer Cheryl, who made her acting debut in the play.

"I saw Lily [Allen] play Jenny and all the cast at the Noel Coward [theatre]," Winstone said. "It was superb, I instantly responded to the script and the style of the show. A thriller on-stage is just so exciting.

"I loved it, but I had to kind of delete that whole performance because here I am playing Jenny," she added. "I have the utmost respect for all the actors who have played every role in previous versions. But as an actor, you want to do something different, you always want to bring something fresh to it and I think that's something we're all doing successfully."

Winstone hopes that theatre-goers will come away from the show "questioning their beliefs" following the play's dramatic plot-twist ending.

2:22 A Ghost Story is playing at London's Apollo Theatre until September 17.

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