Patsy Palmer hopes her 'EastEnders' alter ego Bianca Butcher is "softer" when she is released from prison.
The actress is preparing to return to the BBC One soap following the birth of her fourth child Bertie, now seven months, and is hoping her exit storyline - which saw Bianca imprisoned for attacking Connor Stanley - will see the mouthy redhead return a different person.
She said: "I have no idea what it's like inside a woman's prison so I'm planning to visit one for research. I'm sure Bianca is coping fine though, she's so fearless and gobby.
"I love playing Bianca but she was always miserable. But after her experience in prison I think we'll see a softer side to Bianca which will be a new challenge for me."
Patsy's departure was hastened when she went in to labour early but she hopes her return will better explain some of the questions left unanswered by her sudden exit.
She added in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I wasn't planning to leave for another three weeks so when my waters broke they had to write me out quickly.
"My final scenes had already been filmed so everything had to be rewritten and reworked to explain my absence.
"But in the end lots was left unexplained and all this will come out when I'm back in Walford and out of prison.
"I start filming in the autumn and will be on screen before Christmas and I'm really excited as I've got some great storylines coming up."Reuse content