Strictly's Molly Rainford confirmed for EastEnders role in new Knight family

Virgin Radio

29 Mar 2023, 08:32

Molly Rainford, Francesca Henry, Harriet Thorpe, Colin Salmon in EastEnders

Credit: BBC

EastEnders will have more Strictly Come Dancing sparkle as 2022 alum Molly Rainford is officially heading to Albert Square.

The CBBC star is joining the beloved BBC soap as Anna Knight, and according to the broadcaster, “drama will not be far away” when the new family move into Walford. 

Molly is joining alongside Prime Suspect star Colin Salmon, who will play Knight patriarch George, while A Discovery of Witches actress Francesca Henry will play Anna’s sister Gina. 

Meanwhile, stage and screen star Harriet Thorpe will play Elaine, Linda Carter’s larger than life mother. All four of the new cast members are expected to appear in EastEnders in early summer. 

The official BBC synopsis for the incoming storyline reads: “There’s trouble brewing in Albert Square as a new family is heading into The Queen Victoria. With Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) struggling to manage the pub since Mick’s disappearance, both Sharon Watts (Letiticia Dean) and the Panesars are vying to join forces with Linda to run Albert Square’s iconic pub. 

“However, little do they know that Linda is secretly teaming up with her mother, Elaine Peacock, who will be bringing her new lover, George Knight, and his two daughters, Gina and Anna, to the Square.”

Speaking in a statement about her brand new role, Britain’s Got Talent star Molly said: “I’m SUPER excited to be joining the cast of EastEnders. It’s such an iconic show which myself and my family love, so it’s an honour to bring the character Anna Knight to life who is set to stir up drama upon her arrival. I’ve already met a few familiar faces from my time on Strictly and I can’t wait to meet and be a part of the EastEnders family.”

Elaine star Harriet added: “I’m thrilled to be playing Elaine who is an ultimate matriarch with a huge and vivid personality with a heart of gold who takes no prisoners and fights with all she’s got, but has a vulnerable side that she only shows a select few. The Vic needs strong women running it, and I want to honour the incredible, iconic queens who define EastEnders since the beginning. 

“The entire company is a dream come true to work with, full of support, laughs, and creativity, with the warmest welcome from day one. The East End is where my family started out, so for me this feels like coming home!”

Molly competed on last year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing and reached the final with professional partner Carlos Gu. Prior to that she was finalist on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and went on to portray the titular character in the CBBC comedy Nova Jones from 2021 onwards.

EastEnders airs on BBC One at 7:30pm Monday-Thursday and on BBC iPlayer.