Fans of the hit BBC One soap opera EastEnders have been left shocked after learning that an iconic star played three different characters on the show.

UK soaps and dramas are no strangers to using the same actors for different roles but one star has surprised many by playing three characters on the same show.

Lorraine Stanley appeared on the London-based programme twice over the last 20 years before taking on her big role as Karen Taylor.

The 47-year-old arrived in Albert Square in 2017 and soon became a fan favourite.

However, she first appeared on the show all the way back in 2004 for the TV movie EastEnders: Pat and Mo.

She played a young Mo in the special edition of the show which revealed the cause of Pat Butcher's feud with Big Mo.

She later returned to the BBC programme in 2016 as Linzi's mother Thelma Bragg.

She played the part for a whopping eight episodes, making her appearance pretty significant.

One fan took to social media platform X (formally known as Twitter) to share: "Lorraine Stanley playing 3 gobs****s on the same show over the course of 20 years is pretty iconic."

EastEnders star Lorraine Stanley to leave BBC show after third stint

Lorraine Stanley recently spoke with The Sun to share the shocking news that she would be leaving the programme for the third time in 20 years.

She said: "I was sad, it was a mix of emotions, it's sad but it's exciting as now I can go and do what I want.

"You can get a bit relaxed there and a bit comfortable. So I want to be out of my comfort zone.

"I just want people to remember her as the best mum on the square, a heart of gold, she'd give you her last fiver and would do anything for her kids - a bit like myself."