EastEnders’ Lucy Benjamin has revealed she has banned her daughters from watching Love Island because of its unrealistic body image messages.
The actress, 53, who recently made a return to EastEnders as Lisa Fowler, shares Rosie and Bessie Jo with husband Richard Taggart.
Lucy believes the ITV2 dating show, which ends on Monday evening, ‘doesn’t put out the right message’.
She told the Mirror: ‘I’ve got two daughters, a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old. So Love Island isn’t on in our house. It doesn’t sit comfortably with me. It’s kids making out on TV and there’s kind of this beautiful body image persona. Everyone looks like film stars. I don’t think it puts out the right message.’
‘I think we have to be careful with reality TV to look after those taking part. It’s picking people out of obscurity and throwing them into the limelight.’
Family life: EastEnders’ Lucy Benjamin has revealed she has banned her daughters from watching Love Island because of its unrealistic body image messages
Body image: Lucy believes the ITV2 dating show, which ends on Monday evening, ‘doesn’t put out the right message’
Lucy added: ‘I don’t even particularly want my girls being actors. It’s such a hard profession. I’d be careful about them going into acting or reality TV. It might leave a knot in my stomach.
‘It has to be about having sustainability, you have to have a career behind you. And it’s really important to me to not have these quick fixes whereby you get famous quick and then go from this big high to a big low.’
After Lucy returned as Lisa Fowler last week, EastEnders viewers were left speculating on the real reason for the character being in Walford again.
Lisa was seen with her four-year-old granddaughter Peggy Taylor, much to the shock of the little one’s father Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters).
Lisa’s daughter Louise Mitchell (previously portrayed by Tilly Keeper) gave birth to Peggy at the time Keanu was having an affair with Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), the mother of his son Albie.
Following the birth of Peggy, Louise started to struggle with her mental health, and she was under the impression she played a part in Keanu’s apparent death, although he is still alive and as things got worse for Louise, she nearly killed her daughter Peggy by smothering the baby with a pillow.
After Lisa made her E20 comeback last week, fans were left wondering if Lisa was back in London to seek revenge against Keanu, or if there was an even more sinister reason for her presence.
According to the Metro, soap star Lucy said: ‘She’s full of bitterness and anger and hate towards them because of what they [Keanu and Sharon] did to her daughter. She’s absolutely consumed by that.
‘I think that’s another reason why she feels justified in being all guns blazing and coming hammer and tongs for Keanu.
‘And she’s angry that they seem to be having a great life together when Louise is in bits back in Portugal. She’s full of resentment towards them.’
After returning to Walford, Lisa bumped into Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) who invited her in for a coffee.
Family: The actress, 53, who recently made a return to EastEnders as Lisa Fowler, shares Rosie and Bessie Jo with husband Richard Taggart
Lisa told Sonia things haven’t been going well for them in Portugal, telling her Louise is struggling.
Lucy explained: ‘She’s saying that she turned to drink and to drugs and that she would just go missing for weeks on end, so Lisa basically had the responsibility of looking after Peggy.
‘When they moved away, through what had gone on with Sharon and Keanu, Louise went to pot really, and everything came crumbling down around her. And so, Lisa had to step up and take responsibility of Peggy.’
After an awkward conversation with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), Lisa decided to keep her head down before confronting Keanu.
But Reiss Clowell (Jonny Freeman) mistakenly revealed Lisa and Peggy were in Walford, prompting Keanu to seek out Lisa and set things straight so he could see Peggy.
But, after Lisa places financial demands on Keanu, he pulled back as he decided he’s not willing to give in.
It was announced in May that Lucy would be returning to EastEnders as Lisa.
She told the Daily Mirror at the time: ‘I can’t wait to return as Lisa after leaving for Portugal with Louise and Peggy in 2019.
‘No doubt, in true Lisa fashion, she will bring plenty of drama for many of the characters, which is why playing her is such a delight.’
Lisa was last in Walford in 2019 when she helped Louise flee to Portugal.
The pair thought Louise’s ex Keanu had been murdered by Martin Fowler (James Bye), but he faked Keanu’s death.
Back again: EastEnders viewers were left speculating on the real reason for Lisa Fowler’s return to Walford during last Monday’s episode
EastEnders boss Chris Clenshaw said: ‘We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Lisa back for a short while as she and Peggy cause trouble between the happy couple, Sharon and Keanu.’
In January 2020, Lucy – who first played Lisa from 1998 to 2003 and then in brief stints in 2010 and 2017 – refused to rule out another return to Albert Square.
She said on ITV’s This Morning: ‘I don’t even know if I can talk about it! I knew I was going back for a stint, and I’ve completed that stint.’
Asked about another run in Albert Square, she added: ‘Well, possibly. Yeah, I mean, it’s so difficult … Lisa never seems to go away.’