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EastEnders has been a part of our telly schedules for nearly forty years – and many of the stars have appeared in it before for smaller roles before landing their dream parts.
EastEnders actress Barbara Smith, who plays Bobby Beale’s girlfriend Dana Monroe, revealed that she had a minor role in the soap in 2019.
The young star went on to explain that she played a girl named Ellie who sold Bex Fowler, played by Jasmine Armfield, some "dodgy medication".
This went on to tell the story of Bex’s tense overdose storyline in the soap after a troubling time for the teen.
Barbara has since returned to the soap as Dana, Bobby's love interest, but what has her life on-screen been like since her initial debut?
Bex's 'dodgy' pal
Ellie bumped into Bex on an open day for Oxford University and offered her some drugs, resulting in a challenging time for the teen who then left Walford to travel the world.
Although she wasn't in it for long, Barbara explained what it was like on the first day on the set of EastEnders, telling Inside Soap: "I felt as if I was stepping into my TV when I first walked on to the set and it was one of those moments where I had to pinch myself.
"I was obsessed with EastEndersas a kid, and it's especially surreal if I ever see Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey.
"The reveal of Max and Stacey's affair, followed by Bradley [Branning] later falling from the roof of the Queen Vic was my favourite storyline ever."
In between her stints on EastEnders, Barbara appeared on Casualty in 2010 and took to the stage for a performance of Unburied in 2020, before ultimately landing her role on the BBC soap.
Barbara now plays the role of Dana, who has been building up a budding relationship with Bobby Beale.
The young star went on to say she is quite similar to her EastEnders character and what the future hold for Dana and Bobby.
She said: "I think we need less sneaky and shady people in Walford! I love Dana and Bobby as a couple, so I hope they can get through it."
Most recently in the soap, it has seen their relationship take another level when the teenage son of Ian Beale confessed to killing his sibling Lucy.
Bobby, who is played by Clay Milner Russell, admitted his crime to his girlfriend which happened when he was a little boy.
This confession led to Dana’s dad Harvey, played by Ross Boatman, telling his daughter to stop seeing Bobby.
Despite complications amongst their relationship on-screen, romance rumours have been circulating with Barbara and Clay looking cosy in recent snaps.
The pair seem to have a close relationship on-screen as well as off as they were pictured together in recent months.
The soap stars were spotted looking cosy as they enjoyed a stroll around Elstree and sipping on a coffee. Barbara and Clay seemed to be enjoying each other’s company as they chatted away to one another during their break from filming.
Later on, they were pictured getting on the same train together to head home after a long day of filming at the BBC studios.
Clay joined the long-running BBC soap in 2019 after his character came back after murdering his sister in 2014. Since his character has appeared back on our screens Bobby’s past has caught up with him.
The death of his sister has played on the character’s mind leading to him lying to his girlfriend Dana.
He also went on to lie to his girlfriend by saying he owned his dad Ian’s business.
However, Bobby’s lies got out of control and he was soon found out.
Despite, their ups and downs Bobby and Dana managed to work things out and she decided to forgive him. Bobby’s brother Peter decided to step in and have an emotional chat with Dana to help smooth things out between the pair.
But of course in true soapland, no couple is happily ever after and things between Bobby and Dana likely to take another dramatic turn on the square.
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