As the vengeful bride prepares to make an example of cheating Ray, her real-life alter ego Tamzin Outhwaite reminds us that this isn’t Mel’s first big day in Walford…
When Mel married Ian on Millennium Eve, I was in Madagascar,” recalls actress Tamzin Outhwaite, grinning as Inside Soap joins her for a pre-wedding chat ahead of her alter ego’s New Year nuptials to Ray.
“It went out live in Trafalgar Square, with 21 million viewers tuning in overall. I had people phoning me up to tell me that you could hear a pin drop as Mel was saying, ‘I do’! “Nowadays we get fewer viewers
– but I still like to get as far away as possible!” continues the star, laughing. “Once Christmas is over, that’s my adult time to go away, so I’m doing a trek in India over the first week of January. I feel as though I haven’t done as much exploring lately, so it’s exciting!”
While Tamzin jets off to the other side of the world, ice queen Mel plans to educate Ray in the art of revenge – and hers is as pure as the driven snow. The smart money, supported by some very telling paparazzi pictures of the cast filming on location, is on Mel exposing Ray on their wedding day as a bigamist. But will that be enough to satisfy her appetite for vengeance? “I think it’s about more than just humiliation – she wants to make sure that Ray doesn’t do this again,” shares Tamzin. “To stop him, he either needs to be behind bars, move to another country or be killed – which Mel is not going to do. So I think it’s more about female empowerment, and getting some compensation for his other wives after what they’ve all been through. The trouble is, Mel’s plan has danger written all over it!” Tamzin goes on to reveal that the drama doesn’t just stop with the wedding. In fact, the actress and cast mate Sean Mahon – who plays Ray – are in the process of filming a series of night shoots when Inside Soap joins them for a chat. And judging by some heavy hints from Tamzin, the bride may not have time to slip out of her gorgeous wedding gown before events take a seriously dark turn…
“All I’ll say is… it has POCKETS!” exclaims the 48-year-old star. “That’s my favourite bit about it, as I couldn’t have done all the night shoots for these episodes without them. I have props and all sorts, but you’ll discover more about those later!
“Initially, we [Tamzin, along with the Eastenders’ costume department] tried on a few dresses, and I fell in love with another gown,” adds Tamzin, who has two children with her ex-husband Tom Ellis. “But then someone stopped me and said, ‘Tamzin, that’s you, isn’t it? That’s what you’d wear if you got married again,’ and I was like, ‘Yes! [jokingly pretends to sob]’ The style of it was bohemian, whereas Mel’s makes a bit more of a statement.
I do really like hers, though!”
We’re quick to ask Tamzin if the pockets on Mel’s dress are large enough to conceal a murder weapon, to which she shakes her head dismissively and says, “There’s just enough room for your rosary beads, perhaps”!
It’s been almost a year since Tamzin came back to Walford after 16 years away, and the star – who has enjoyed lead roles in television dramas such as
Hotel Babylon, Red Cap and New Tricks – is pleased that she decided to return to soapland.
“I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone – it only feels as though it’s been a couple of months,” beams Tamzin. “People do say that you lose years just enjoying the ride here, and it’s true. I’m having an absolute ball!”
Mel wants to make sure that Ray doesn’t do this again!
Eyes on the prize: Mel has been busy plotting revenge
Ray of reckoning: Is Mel’s husbandto-be set for a huge shock?