Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kathy Comes Home

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Kathy Comes Home

Article excerpt

Actress Malandra Burrows brought us all the soap gossip as our very own Gazette showbiz columnist.

Then four years ago she was axed from Emmerdale.

BARBARA ARGUMENT finds out why she's turning up in the dale again.

MALANDRA Burrows' philosophy for life is simple ( never say never.

And she's proved sticking to your guns really does work.

In a surprising turn of events four years after being dropped from top-rated soap Emmerdale, Malandra is returning to the soap for a week.

When she was riding high as the feisty Kathy, she took time out each week to give all the showbiz gossip to Gazette readers.

That was in the mid-nineties when Malandra tapped out a weekly column of news items, opinions and anecdotes.

The fun, forthright Scouser entertained everyone with her tales of life on the TV set.

"The last time I was in Middlesbrough," she laughed once, "I was still going to school and appeared at a club in Eston.

"That's when I realised what a sporting lot you Teessiders are because after the show, the audience gave me a 100 yards start.

"If they hadn't, I would never have made it out of town!"

So she's a star who is self-effacing, too.

From 1985 to 2001, she played unlucky-in-love Kathy, who notched up three husbands during her time in the programme and secured a place for herself in the hearts of its viewers.

It all changed when incoming producer Steve Frost decided the character had run its course. Kathy was packed off to Australia. But now, for four episodes, she's back.

"I left it in the writers' hands as to how they were going to plot her return," reveals the 39-year-old actress.

"I think Kathy's grown-up. A lot has changed while she's been away. She's got married again and has a baby, but I don't know what sex it is.

"But it isn't the intention of the show to dwell too much on what's happened to her. The real reason I've come back is to take part in the tribute episodes to Seth and the lovely Stan Richards who played him."

In February, Stan sadly passed away at the age of 74. For 26 years he'd played Emmerdale's colourful rogue Seth Armstrong.

Malandra was just one of the many cast members who attended his funeral and approves of the show's decision to give his alter ego a dignified send-off too.

"I think it's lovely," she says. "It's done so well and so sensitively.

"There was a scene when we were in the village with a funeral car and it did bring back memories of Stan's service. He was a part of my life since I joined the show and I did a lot of work with him. Sometimes it's hard to believe he's gone."

Returning to the soap was certainly an odd experience for Malandra.

"At first there was an array of different faces, but then out of the midst emerged one or two familiar ones ( Richard Thorp, Chris Chittell and the Dingle mob. …

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