EastEnders has decided to add a disabled character to the mix, who will be played by former Grange Hill actress Lisa Hammond. Hammond is set to play market trader Donna Yates on Bridge Street, who will be declaring war on rivals Kat and Bianca. The character was not originally meant to be portrayed as being in a wheelchair. Hammond nailed her audition among others who were much more able bodied than her.
Hammond has a restricted growth condition and has become the second regular disabled character to appear on the series, after Albert Best (David Proud) from 2009-2010. Hammond said "I'm really excited to join the cast of EastEnders. It's a great opportunity to be a part of such a big and popular show. Donna is a bit of a handful but they're always the most fun characters to play! It feels good to be bad!"
EastEnders creator Dominic Treadwell-Collins described Hammond’s character as "flinty, aggressive and difficult. Donna's not an easy character to like at first, as we get to know her better however, we will discover a funny, loyal but also fragile woman underneath. Lisa is a brilliantly comic and sharp actress and we've been trying to get her into the EastEnders cast for a long time, so I'm delighted that it has finally happened.” Hammond started acting at the age of 13, as she first appeared on Grange Hill. Hammond has also starred in Psychoville, Bleak House and Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere.
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