TV Highlights

Lisa Hammond's EastEnders' character not just a 'hard-faced cow'

EastEnders' newcomer Lisa Hammond insists her character Donna Yates isn't just a ''hard-faced cow''.

The 31-year-old star burst onto Albert Square as a tough market trader, who declares war on stall holders Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer) and Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace), but the former 'Grange Hill' actress claims there's more to come from her alter-ego in the future.

She told Inside Soap magazine: ''It was hard to launch into such a fiery character. Once I settled in, I thought, 'This is fun - people will hate me'. Initially Donna is very opinionated. But there is a humorous side to her. I don't want her to just be a hard-faced cow. There needs to be a glint in her eye, tinged with a bit of sarcasm as well.''

Donna wasn't originally written as a wheelchair-bound character, but Lisa - who has a restricted growth condition - won over producers with her audition, and show boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins was delighted to have her on board as the ''flinty, aggressive and difficult'' stall holder.

He said previously: ''Donna's not an easy character to like at first. As we get to know her better, we will discover a funny, loyal but also fragile woman underneath.

''Lisa is a brilliantly comic and sharp actress. We have been trying to get her into the 'EastEnders' cast for a long time so I am delighted.''

Donna is the second regular disabled character to appear on Albert Square, following Adam Best (David Proud), who appeared from 2009 to 2010.

25-04-2014

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07-07-2011