She may have become one of the constant faces on the hit soap EastEnders down the years since it began in 1985, but now the (mainly) silent character Tracey is set to be given her own storyline. Actress Jane Slaughter has often been seen around the square or serving behind the bar, uttering few if any lines of actual dialogue. Now she will be given her own time in the spotlight it seems, after receiving an important phone call on this week’s show from Kathy Beale at the Queen Vic.

‘Silent’ actress on the soap

She has often barely been involved in the dramatic scenes of heartache, laughter and high tension that have seen BBC’s ratings winner prosper for over 30 years.

Yet the ever-popular Slaughter has the distinction of being the longest serving female character to appear on the show. With other characters commonly moving away from Walford to pastures new (with several returning from time to time) or worse still being ‘snuffed out’ quite literally by the writers, Tracey continues to pop up from time to time.

Kathy’s return to the show

The barmaid’s reward for her unstinting loyalty to the show is to come when she is asked by Kathy to pass on some crucial information to fellow long –term character Phil. Her re-energised role involved scenes shot with key actors Danny Dyer and Steve McFadden, something that clearly delighted Slaughter when she reported to Inside Soap:both of whom I love working with.” It forms part of the storyline involving the highly-anticipated return of Kathy to the show.

Happy with her role

It probably isn’t time for Tracey to attract the attention of the National Television Awards’ for 2016 (Dyer was awarded the Outstanding Serial Drama Performance gong this year), but the actress isn’t complaining. She seems perfectly happy with her utilisation by the writers, claiming that it “makes perfect sense to me.

Long association with the BBC

Slaughter’s association with the BBC began ten years before EastEnders appeared on our television screens. In 1975 she appeared as the character Petrova in a BBC adaptation of Noel Streatfeild’s children book “Ballet Shoes”. Six years later there was further acting success for her in “The History Man”, another book adaptation by theBBCbased on Malcolm Bradbury’s novel by the same name.