Sharon is one of EastEnders ' original characters, appearing in the first episode broadcast on 19 February Sharon was a teenager when the programme began: In a long-running storyline dubbed SharongateDean, married to Grant, has an affair with Phil. Grant's discovery letitia the affair remains one of EastEnders ' highest viewed episodes. Dean quit the role in after ten years, with Sharon departing following the breakdown of her marriage.
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InSharon was reintroduced letitia producer John Yorke. Dean continued in the role until Januaryfeaturing in storylines including the return of her father Den, thought long dead, in and a love affair letitia her adoptive half-brother, Dennis Rickman Nigel Harmanwhich ended in his death. Dean took a break from the show in lategirl naked train the character departing alongside Vicki Fowler Scarlett Alice Johnson on 25 Decemberfakes for one episode to tie in with the shows 20th anniversary and Den's departure before returning in June Dean departed in January amidst reports that she was taking a break; however, she did not return untilwhen executive producer Bryan Kirkwood announced that he was reintroducing Sharon.
On 10 AprilDean filmed her th episode as Sharon.
Since her return in dean, Sharon's storylines have included an aborted engagement to Jack Branning Scott Maslena reunion and marriage to Phil, battling a painkiller addiction, being attacked in her own bar, a friendship with Linda Carter Kellie Brightreigniting her old friendships with Fakes Fowler Jenna Russell and Ian Beale Adam Woodyattan affair with Keanu Taylor Danny Maine sluts that ended up with a late in life pregnancy by Keanu. Sharon dean topped numerous viewer polls suggesting she is one of EastEnders' most favoured characters.
Critics have praised the character's complex progression from teenager to adult, referencing the investment that viewers hold in Sharon, having watched her grow up on-screen.
While Sharon's returns to EastEnders have been fakes by some critics, others received her comebacks as an indication that the show's writers and producers had run out of original ideas. Letitia Dean has defended the decision to reintroduce Sharon, suggesting that long-running dramas such as EastEnders need "old blood".