EastEnders comp image: Aunt Sal and Alan Ford

EastEnders casts Alan Ford for Aunt Sal’s funeral storyline, according to reports

Actress Anna Karen died last year

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EastEnders is said to be killing off show legend Aunt Sal and has reportedly recruited a Hollywood heavyweight to join the cast for the storyline.

Alan Ford, best-known for Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, is thought to be taking on an unknown role for the episodes.

In pictures obtained by The Sun Alan can be seen all in black in scenes with Phil Mitchell.

EastEnders Aunt Sal looks disapprovingly at Glenda
Aunt Sal was certainly a force to be reckoned with (Credit: BBC)

Aunt Sal dies in EastEnders?

The BBC soap is reportedly set to air the death of Aunt Sal, the sister of Peggy Mitchell.

Sal, played by Anna Karen, had a recurring role in EastEnders. She was domineering and disapproving and often sided with Peggy over wayward son Phil. Anna was also known for playing Olive in On The Buses.

Anna first appeared as Sal in 1997 and she was last seen at the funeral of Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell in 2017.

It comes after actress Anna died in August last year.

Anna Karen smiles as she walks down the street
Actress Anna lost her life last year (Credit: Shutterstock)

How did Anna Karen die?

Anna was killed in a tragic house fire aged 85. The Mail Online reported at the time a fire crew was called to the site shortly after smoke was spotting. They were able to bring the ground floor blaze under control, but sadly Anna had already lost her life.

London Fire Brigade also confirmed to The Mirror: “Sadly, a woman has died following a house fire on Windsor Road in Ilford.

“Part of the ground floor of a mid-terrace house was damaged by fire. Sadly a woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The Brigade was called at 2240 and the fire was under control by 2338.

“Three fire engines and around 20 firefighters from Ilford and Barking fire stations attended the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

It was later ruled that no suspicious circumstances surrounded the blaze.

Probate records then revealed Anna left a huge sum to her EastEnders co-star Sophie Lawrence. On the Buses star Anna bequeathed 65 per cent of her net estate to Lawrence, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Alan Ford, wrapped up warm, looks blankly at the photographer
Hollywood heavyweight Alan is said to be joining EastEnders (Credit: BBC)

Who will Alan Ford play in EastEnders?

Although EastEnders themselves are keeping tight-lipped about Alan Ford’s casting, a source told The Sun: “Alan’s a great signing by bosses.

“He’s a huge star who fans will be delighted to see on the soap. His character has a long connection to the Mitchells.

They also added: “Aunt Sal was a stalwart of the soap and she’ll be done proud with the scenes.”

Alan has starred in the soap before. He played a conman called Sam Sangers in 1986.

Read more: Complete EastEnders cast list for 2023 right here!

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EastEnders usually airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)