EASTENDERS actress Jessie Wallace has been here before.
Suspended from the soap for being drunk and abusive, she has been told in no uncertain terms she must buck up her ideas or risk losing her job.
Suspended EastEnders actress Jessie Wallace has vowed to clean up her act after her latest drunken antics
But as she contemplates her latest enforced ban from Albert Square for boozing on set, Jessie knows she cant afford another hiccup and is taking the suspension seriously, telling a friend: I need time out.
The 48-year-old intends to spend the next two months away from the spotlight with pals claiming she is determined to get her head straight.
The friend added: She knows one more strike and she could be out.
Something needs to change; its a well known saying within EastEnders that nobody is bigger than the soap.
A source says Jessie ‘knows one more strike and she could be out’ as bosses aren’t happy that it’s becoming harder to distinguish between her and her character Kat Slater
Jessie real name Karen is well aware patience within EastEnders is wearing thin.
Ever since she first burst onto screens in the BBC series in 2000, her behaviour has rather too closely mirrored that of her character, Kat Slater, whose epic drinking sessions, fallouts, outbursts and breakdowns have made her a TV icon.
Soap boasses are besotted with Kat ranking her as one of Albert Squares legendary female figures, up there with Peggy Mitchell, Pat Butcher and Dot Branning.
Indeed, new EastEnders chief Kate Oates was keen to explore new dynamics for Kat in Walford following the departure last year of her on-screen partner Alfie Moon, played by her close pal Shane Ritchie.
Jessie has recently endured more heartbreak as she split from boyfriend of two years Paul Keepin
But they are not so happy about the fact its apparently becoming increasingly hard to distinguish between Jessie and Kat courtesy of her battles with booze, mouthy meltdowns and troubled relationships which have ensured shes barely out of the headlines.
Her latest scandal, which was revealed at the weekend, comes weeks after her split from greengrocer Paul Keepin, who she dated for almost two years.
Jessie aimed to get over her heartbreak by throwing herself into work, knowing a big storyline was on the horizon linked to the soaps 35th anniversary.
The showpiece episodes were being filmed on a boat on the Thames where the Queen Vic celebrates being named pub of the year and Jessie took the partying a little too seriously and seemed tipsy, as well as rowdy.
Just like Kat, she has a history of troubled relationships – she’s even had three failed engagements
EastEnders bosses took immediate action and banned her for two months, fuming over her unprofessional behaviour and believing she was setting a bad example to younger cast members.
Allegations of her boozing on set come 18 months after she was sent home from the British Soap Awards before she even made the red carpet as she was too drunk.
And around 15 years after she was first suspended by the soap for drinking to excess and sparking adverse publicity.
Jessies fondness for a drink has a habit of getting her in trouble and infuriating her co-stars.
But it’s Jessie’s long history of booze and drug scandals that have put her in the firing line
After joining EastEnders, she soon carved out a reputation away from the soap as a party girl who was the life and soul of every bash.
Her lifestyle impacted her relationship with several cast members, including Barbara Windsor who revealed the pair fell out over her unprofessionalism and punctuality.
In 2010, Babs recalled: She was young. She was always late. I lost my temper. I erupted.
Yet despite being great company, Kat is also considered a liability with a tinderbox temper.
In 2006 Jessie admitted booze ‘had caused her a lot of problems’ while revealing she took drugs, including cocaine
An old friend says Jessie, who worked in Portuguese holiday bars in her early twenties, has never learned to button her lip when teased by members of the public during her rowdy nights out.
They told how most celebrities are encouraged to ignore such remarks and avoid confrontation but Jessie does the opposite.
The pal said: People would shout all sorts of EastEnders-themed gags at Jessie and sometimes she would just flip and go crazy at them.
One minute she would be fine and then something clicks, starting a full-on slanging match and Jessie would more often than not come out top.
She was snapped being carried out of a London club over a bouncers shoulder
Then in 2018 she was sent home from the British Soap Awards before she even made the red carpet as she was too drunk
In 2006, Jessie admitted booze had caused her a lot of problems while revealing she took drugs including cocaine as she struggled to cope with fame during her early days in EastEnders.
She said: I was never an alcoholic but booze did cause me a lot of problems.
For a period it was getting out of control. I went through a phase of not caring about what I did when I was drunk.
Every time I was drinking I got into trouble. I guess sometimes I did provoke it. Everywhere I went there was trouble, trouble, trouble. I had such a bad reputation.
In 2009 she had promised to give up on the booze and swapped the pub for the gym, but her move into fitness proved shortlived
Jessie has always preferred drinking in London boozers as opposed to the fancy bars and members clubs preferred by most celebrities.
She previously favoured pubs in Wandsworth, South West London, but in recent years has ventured into the West End and in March 2018 she was pictured drunk on all fours in the street in Soho.
Nine months earlier, she was snapped being carried out of a London club over a bouncers shoulder.
Jessie once gave up booze in 2009, and lost two stone after swapping the pub for the gym.
Her dating life has also been in the spotlight – she dated singer Tim Arnold from 2012 to 2016
But her move into fitness proved shortlived like many of her relationships which have included three failed engagements.
Shes never felt comfortable with being famous and never fancied dating a fellow celebrity.
Before dating divorced dad-of-five Paul, Jessie was seeing little known singer Tim Arnold from 2012 to 2016 and catering boss Vince Morse.
She was close to marrying Vince but called off her 300,000 wedding just hours beforehand in August 2011.
Jessie also dated catering boss Vince Morse and the pair were set to be married, but the wedding was called off at the last minute
Jessie was engaged to boxer Tommy ONeill in 2016 but the pair also failed to make it down the aisle, splitting two years later.
Their relationship had sparked a fallout with her glamour model half-sister Danielle Mason.
In 2006 Jessie dated builder Chris Osborn who told how she used to go on three-bottle-a-day wine sessions during their 100mph romance.
Speaking in 2018, he said: Jessie used to get as p***ed as a pudding and in the end that was the thing that got in the way of us.
One of her most notorious relationships was with policeman Dave Morgan who she met while appearing in court for drink driving
Looking back at it, she probably needed a bit of help as she was drinking almost every day. It was mayhem going out with her.
Her most notorious relationship was with policeman Dave Morgan, who she met while appearing in court in 2003 for drink driving a charge she admitted and for which she got a three-year driving ban, just five years after a 15-month ban for failing to take a breath test.
She and Dave got engaged but split two years later while Jessie was pregnant with their daughter Tallulah, now 15.
According to pals, Jessies multiple betrayals at the hands of men she trusted have dented her confidence.
According to pals Jessies multiple betrayals at the hands of men have dented her confidence, so they’re now desperately hoping she will lay of the booze and focus on her TV return instead
A source confided: Its chipped away at her over the years. The big question hanging over her is: why does it never work out?
Her friends and colleagues are now desperately willing her to get her boozing under control so she can return to EastEnders.
Playing Kat is what she does best but no one wants Jessie to let her inner Kat ruin her life.