Sunday 23 August 1998
Bianca-a-a-h-h. EastEnders resident, er, "sex-pot", the gor-blimey, ginger- nob Bianca Butcher is famously played by Patsy Palmer. Patsy also surprises us all with her sartorial posts at many a premiere and party, and tends to get herself into the kind of personal scrape that is of such interest to the tabloids. After a technical hitch that delayed her marriage, Patsy has managed to tie the knot in a "low-key" ceremony, flanked by five minders and complete with paparazzi. In London's East End of all places. Like her former co-stars, Danielle Westbrook and Leslie Grantham, Patsy consistently garners a disproportionate number of column inches. All this and much much more for simply whining "Rickeeeeeeeeee".
Fergie under a sunbed. Be-ribboned and freckled fluffy dog. Marbella lovely with a weakness for the midday sun. Ginger Spice Patsy, 26, came to our attention as the nation's most virulently red-headed star since Cilla Black, when she arrived on The Square to play feisty young Bianca, a name not felicitously matched with a Cockney accent. Fans follow her shouting: "Bianca-a-a-h-h" (consonants swallowed, stress on the third syllable, you understand). Bianca is now as indispensable to life at the Vic, caff, market, etc. as Ange or Den were in the soap's depressive acme. Remember Arthur's allotment? Halcyon days, viewers, Halcyon days.
The daughter of a cab driver, Patsy attended the Anna Scher Theatre school in north London and lives in Bethnal Green. She is a single mum to son Charley, who is merrily trotted out for photo sessions along with his ever-so-media-friendly mum.
Born Julie Harris and the daughter of a cab driver, our heroine came over all AbFab and called herself Patsy after her mother. "We are a real close-knit family," flutters Patsy. Her brother has recently spent some time away at her Majesty's Pleasure, but was released in time for Patsy's 26th birthday party, kindly hosted by OK! magazine, complete with soap stars and the most desperate party-goer of all time, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, who has a tendency to be best muckers with EastEnders stars as well as royals. Yawn.
For all her Fergie-style disasters on the frock front and fondness for explaining her life choices to magazines, Patsy shows such self- awareness and honesty she is likely to survive the vicissitudes of soap fame. She should go all serious, do a spot of Brecht and reinvent herself as a post-Bianca, earnest thesp. In the mean time, there's still Rickeeeeeee.
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