Former EastEnders star Gary Hailes discusses big reaction to Colin and Barry’s return news

Ancient EastEnders Star Gary Hailes, who played Barry Clark on the show, spoke about the big reaction to the return of his character, Barry and Colin.

In case you missed it, Gary Hailes is one of many familiar faces that will return to the show for Dot Branning’s funeral in honor of the longtime star. EastEnders June Brown, who died earlier this year at the age of 95.

Former cast members Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning), Lord Michael Cashman (Colin Russell), Tom Watt (Lofty Holloway), Linda Davidson (Mary Smith) and Jan Graveson (Disa O’Brien) all return to Walford alongside Hailes.

Related: EastEnders Star on Dot Branning’s Touching Episode

And now, in a recent interview, he talked about his return to the show and the reactions when people found out.

“I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve received since the news broke – I’ve been inundated! I did not expect that. I loved hearing all the speculation about Colin and Barry returning and what that might entail,” he said.

“All I can say is the episodes are so well written and there’s a real understanding of what happened to them before. I know they had a big impact in the 80 years.

“I periodically get letters from people telling me they’re marrying their boyfriends, and they can do it because of what we did at the time. Apparently they used the scene where Dot realizes Barry and Colin are sharing a bed in the schools to educate people about gay relationships,” he added.


Related: EastEnders Airs Ricky Butcher’s Return Script

He also talked about what it was like to return to the show after so long.

“When I first got the call I was over the moon, but reality hit and I was quite nervous. It seemed daunting after about thirty years. But I quickly got over that when I got there. The cast and crew were incredibly friendly and welcoming,” he said.

“It was especially nice to see Michael Cashman again as we keep in touch, but life had gotten in the way and we hadn’t seen each other since before the lockdown. In the end, going back was like putting on a comfortable old pair of shoes – they fit perfectly and they’re perfect,” he added.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show is also streaming on BBC iPlayer.

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