Lucy Jane Baker
25 June 1970
|Other names||Lucy Taggart|
|EastEnders (1998–2003, 2010, 2017, 2019–2020)|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Taggart (m. 2006)|
Lucy Benjamin (born Lucy Jane Baker, 25 June 1970) is an English actress. She has played Lisa Fowler in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 1998–2003 as a regular cast member, before returning for two brief stints in 2010 and 2017, and returning in 2019 as for a longer stint before departing again in 2020.
Born in Reading, Berkshire, England, she took the stage name of Benjamin after her brother. Benjamin trained at the Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead. Her first acting role was as a child actress in Doctor Who in 1983, playing a younger version of the character Nyssa in Mawdryn Undead . She had one line/word of dialogue — "Doctor!" — but remained uncredited both on-screen and in Radio Times. As she is naturally blonde haired, she wore a brunette wig to match older Nyssa actress Sarah Sutton.
In 1989, she starred in the children's television programme Press Gang , where she played Julie Craig. She left after the first series for another role, but returned for the fourth and final series until 1993, when her role was expanded.
In 1989 and 1990, Benjamin appeared in two series of LWT sitcom Close to Home , playing Paul Nicholas' teenage daughter Kate Shepherd. Also in 1990, Benjamin appeared in the British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) Galaxy Channel soap opera Jupiter Moon . In 1995, she appeared in the Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall comedy Bottom .
From 1998 to 2003, she played Lisa Fowler in the BBC soap opera EastEnders . During her time on the programme, Benjamin was involved in one of the soap's most viewed storylines, known as "Who Shot Phil?" (2001). The storyline centered on the shooting of her on-screen lover Phil Mitchell, and who, out of the many potential candidates, was responsible. Several suspects emerged and the audience was kept in the dark for many weeks as to the identity of the shooter, which was eventually revealed to be Benjamin's character.
She was asked back for a short period in 2003, to help with the forthcoming exit of Steve McFadden, who was taking a hiatus from the programme. Then again on 5 August 2010, Benjamin returned to EastEnders for one episode in a storyline that was building up to the exit of Barbara Windsor. Benjamin reprised her role for a short stint in July 2017, part of on-screen daughter Louise Mitchell's (Tilly Keeper) bullying storyline.
Since leaving EastEnders, Benjamin has appeared in the BBC television programme The Afternoon Play, and the BBC hospital drama Casualty . She has also appeared in pantomimes across London, as well as touring for 6 months in the play Framed in which she starred with Tom Craig from Coronation Street .
In April 2006, the Daily Mirror reported that Benjamin was in talks with EastEnders about reprising the role of Lisa Fowler. Benjamin stated in an interview that all rumours of her returning to EastEnders were inaccurate and that the programme was not in contact with her.
In June 2006, Benjamin appeared on The X Factor: Battle of the Stars , where she was the outright winner. She was mentored by judge Louis Walsh. She also appeared as Heather in Stephen Fry's drama Kingdom . In October 2006, Benjamin appeared in an episode of the BBC medical drama Doctors .
In September 2008, she appeared in All Star Family Fortunes, winning £10,000 for her charity Rosie's Rainbow Fund
She starred in The Pretender Agenda at the New Players Theatre with Lee Ryan. Benjamin starred also in the UK horror film Not Alone .
She was a contestant in the ITV1 series I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
In 2013, Benjamin starred as Velma Von Tussle, in the UK Nationwide tour of the West End hit stage show, Hairspray .
Between April and July 2017, Benjamin had a recurring role as Denise Ellisson in Casualty.
On 27 May 2019, it was announced that Benjamin would be returning to EastEnders on a permanent basis.She returned on 2 September 2019. Lisa departed in January 2020.
Benjamin married oil businessman Richard Taggart at Babington House, Somerset on 30 March 2006.The couple met during a flight to Dubai and became engaged three months later. Benjamin and Taggart now live in Gidea Park, Greater London.
In the first episode of The X Factor: Battle of the Stars show on 31 May 2006, Sharon Osbourne let slip that Benjamin was pregnant. Benjamin smiled while host Kate Thornton commented: "I don't think you wanted that announced tonight, did you?".Benjamin gave birth by caesarean section to a daughter at Harold Wood Hospital in London on 22 November 2006. On 19 October 2010, she revealed that she was three-months pregnant with her second child. In April 2011, she gave birth to a second daughter.
She is a patron of the charity Rosie's Rainbow Fund.
In May 2015, she was awarded £157,250 by Mr Justice Mann as part of a £1.2 million celebrity payout during the phone hacking scandal of the Mirror Group newspapers ( Trinity Mirror ), under her married name Lucy Taggart.
EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001, episodes have been broadcast on every weekday except Wednesday. The three-month suspension of production in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, led to broadcasts of the show being reduced to two 30-minute episodes per week, and eventually, the show going on a transmission break. Restrictions to filming resulted in the programme returning to transmission, with four 20-minute episodes per week resuming on 7 September 2020.
Susan Tully is an English television producer, director and former actress.
Mark Fowler is a fictional character in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Mark, an original regular character when the series started in February 1985, became a semi-regular after his original portrayer David Scarboro was written out of the role in April 1985. Scarboro made brief returns to the role in 1986 and 1987. Scarboro died by suicide in April 1988 and subsequently Mark was recast two years later on his return, with former Grange Hill regular Todd Carty taking on the role. From this point the character was a permanent fixture in the series and Carty remained in the role until the character was written out of the series in early 2003.
Pauline Fowler is a fictional character from the BBC One soap opera EastEnders. She was played by actress Wendy Richard between the first episode on 19 February 1985 and 25 December 2006. Pauline was created by scriptwriter Tony Holland and producer Julia Smith as one of EastEnders' original characters. She made her debut in the soap's first episode on 19 February 1985, and remained for twenty-one years and ten months, making her the second-longest-running original character, surpassed only by her nephew, Ian Beale.
Phillip "Phil" Mitchell is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Steve McFadden. He was introduced to the soap opera on 20 February 1990, and was followed by his brother, Grant, sister Sam and mother Peggy. The character Phil was one of the major introductions made by executive producer Michael Ferguson, who wanted to bring in some macho male leads. Phil and his brother Grant became popularly known as the Mitchell brothers in the British media with Phil initially portrayed as the more level-headed of the two thugs. Storylines featuring the Mitchell family dominated the soap opera throughout the 1990s, with Phil serving as one of the show's central characters and protagonist villains throughout the subsequent decades. McFadden temporarily left the series in late 2003, then returned in April 2005 for a brief appearance before making a permanent return in October 2005.
Melanie "Mel" Owen is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Tamzin Outhwaite. Mel was introduced by executive producer Matthew Robinson and made her first appearance on 19 October 1998. Outhwaite made her departure on 12 April 2002. Outhwaite's return to the series was announced in October 2017 and she returned on 9 January 2018. The actress chose to leave the soap again in July 2019 and her final episode aired on 14 November 2019 when her character was killed off. Outhwaite proved popular in the role, winning multiple awards and critical acclaim for her portrayal of Mel as the character became prominent in the show.
The Beales and the Fowlers are a fictional family in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. They were the main family for storylines in early episodes of EastEnders, and remained as such ever since. With at least one member of the family having been a member of the cast from the first episode in February 1985, they are the show's longest serving family. The original Beale/Fowler family consisted of matriarch Lou Beale and her children Pete and Pauline, alongside their families including their children Ian, Mark, Michelle and their spouses Kathy Hills and Arthur Fowler. Additionally, several members of the family have been introduced at a later point, including Pauline and Arthur's son Martin who was the first baby to be born into the show in 1985. The family has been headed with a matriarch first seen with Lou, and over the years, Lou's daughter Pauline, Ian's wife Jane Collins and more recently Pete's wife Kathy, have filled this role.
Lucy Renee Speed is an English actress best known for her television roles as Natalie Evans in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders, and as DS Stevie Moss in the ITV police drama series The Bill. She has also starred in the 2015 BBC One sitcom Cradle to Grave.
Lisa Fowler is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Lucy Benjamin. She made her first appearance on 7 December 1998. The character was introduced as a "home-wrecking blonde" by executive producer Matthew Robinson on 7 December 1998. The character made her initial departure on 3 October 2002, when she was written out by producer Louise Berridge.
Mandy Salter is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Nicola Stapleton from 12 March 1992 to 13 January 1994 and then from 29 August 2011 to 31 May 2012. Introduced on 12 March 1992 by producer Leonard Lewis, Mandy was portrayed as a teenage tearaway. She was featured in storylines about teenage homelessness, child abuse and recreational drug taking. Her relationship with Aidan Brosnan was one of the prominent storylines featured in 1993. Due to the character's antagonistic behaviour, it has been suggested that Mandy was one of the most hated characters on television during her tenure. The character appeared in a special episode of Doctor Who in 1993, which was set in the fictional soap setting of Walford. Stapleton left the role and Mandy departed on-screen on 13 January 1994.
George "Lofty" Holloway is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Tom Watt. Lofty is one of the serial's near-original characters, making his first appearance in the third episode, which was first broadcast on 26 February 1985. Lofty is generally depicted as a meek, luckless and hapless victim. A long-running storyline concerns his relationship with the character Michelle Fowler. Lofty departed in the episode that was first broadcast on 19 April 1988. Watt's return to the soap for a single episode was announced in December 2018. He returned for the funeral of Dr. Harold Legg in episode 5871, originally broadcast on 19 February 2019.
Lindsey Coulson is an English actress, known for her role as Carol Jackson in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. For this role, she won the 2000 British Soap Award for Best Dramatic Performance. Coulson is also well known for her roles in Clocking Off (2001), Murder Investigation Team (2003–2005), The Street (2006), as Sarah Tanner in Bulletproof (2018–present) and as Penny Armstrong in The Bay (2019–present). She has appeared in the films AKA (2003) and Funny Cow (2017).
"Who Shot Phil?" was a storyline of the BBC soap opera EastEnders which began on 1 March 2001 and climaxed on 5 April 2001.
Ruth Aitken is a fictional character from the popular British BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Caroline Paterson from 1994 to 1999. Ruth was Mark Fowler 's ex-wife and she is far more comfortable with his HIV status than many of his other girlfriends. However, their marriage eventually disintegrates due to Mark's habit of shutting her out and his inability to give Ruth a child. They split and she strays with Mark's cousin, Conor Flaherty. Her betrayal deeply hurts Mark but it also gives her the chance to be a mother as she becomes pregnant with Conor's child.
In 1997, the BBC soap opera EastEnders broadcast three singular transmissions that were filmed on location in Dublin, Ireland. The episodes involved the Fowler and Beale family travelling from London to Ireland to meet their long-lost relatives. They were badly received by viewers and heavily criticised in the media. The BBC was inundated with complaints from angry viewers from Ireland for negative stereotyping, portraying Irish people as "dirty, rude, and drunk". Complaints were made by the Irish Embassy and there were fears that the episodes would have a negative effect on the Irish tourist trade. The BBC was forced to issue an apology for causing offence.
Lucy Beale is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders. The character was played by Eva Brittin-Snell, Casey Anne Rothery, Melissa Suffield, and Hetti Bywater. Lucy was introduced in December 1993 as the baby daughter of Ian and Cindy Beale. She is the twin sister of Peter Beale, and has three half siblings, older brother Steven Beale, younger sister Cindy Williams and younger brother Bobby Beale.
The Mitchell family is a fictional family in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. They were first introduced in February 1990, when brothers Phil and his brother Grant Mitchell bought the local garage - the Arches. Their sister Sam Mitchell joined the show later in 1990 and their mother Peggy Mitchell was briefly introduced in 1991, before being reintroduced in 1994. Since then, they have been developed significantly to include both the immediate and extended families of these characters. McFadden remains as the longest running Mitchell in the show currently as Phil Mitchell, but the family has expanded significantly in the years since, and they still remain a large presence on the square.
DCI Jill Marsden is a fictional character in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Sophie Stanton. She made her first appearance on 5 March 2001 investigating the shooting of Phil Mitchell, which was part of the whodunit storyline "Who Shot Phil?". Marsden returned in 2002, 2003 and 2009. She returned on 5 January 2012 for her third whodunit storyline, "Who's Stalking Phil?", departing four months later on 10 May 2012. Marsden returned for two episodes on 17 August 2012 to conclude the latter storyline. On 16 July 2015, she returned for part of the "Who Killed Lucy Beale?" whodunit storyline.
Louise Mitchell is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, who has been played by four different actors since her on-screen birth on 6 November 2001. Louise has been played by Rachel Cox between 2001 and 2003, Danni Bennatar in 2008, Brittany Papple in 2010, and Tilly Keeper in 2016 to 2020. Keeper's casting was announced on 16 December 2015 and she made her first appearance as Louise on 15 January 2016. The character's departure was announced in December 2019, with Louise making her last appearance on 24 January 2020.