An EastEnders fan once asked Jane Slaughter for the number of the phone box in Albert Square so they could call and “speak to Grant Mitchell”.
The 59-year-old actress has played Tracey, aka Tracey the Barmaid, on the BBC One soap since its first-ever episode on February 19th 1985.
She has revealed she was always inundated with fans asking her what it was like to work with Ross Kemp (Grant) when he was a regular on the show.
She said: “When I was out on the street people would come up to me saying, ‘What’s it like working with Ross?’ Or telling me I’m so lucky to be in his company. I would get it all the time.
“He played a hard man but he was a lot softer than his screen brother Phil, which might be why he had a big female following.
“Years ago I had someone ask me if I could give them the number for the phone box in Albert Square by Dr Legg’s surgery so they could speak to Grant.”
People would come up to me saying, ‘What’s it like working with Ross?’
Jane also holds Ross’ on-screen mum Dame Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell) in high regard, admitting she was “so supportive” of her co-stars, and she took the soap to “another level”.
She said: “I filmed a scene in The Vic with her and thought, ‘Oh my goodness, this is it’, and when she did her laugh it was like an out-of-body experience.
“She took EastEnders to another level. She gave the Mitchells another dimension, she made them so strong.
“But what was also great about Barbara was she was so supportive of other actors behind the scenes.”
Jane has praised “amazing actor” Steve McFadden, admitting she felt “so scared” when she had to film a scene with him as a drunk Phil Mitchell because his portrayal was so realistic.
In a piece for The Sun newspaper, she explained: “He had a go at me, as Tracey, when Phil was drunk and I remember feeling so uncomfortable and like there was an actual alcoholic in front of me.
“I just wanted to run away, I felt so scared.”
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