Rachel Bright

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Rachel Bright
Notable work

Rachel Bright is an English actress, best known for her role in the BBC soap opera EastEnders as Poppy Meadow.


Bright graduated from the Birmingham School of Acting, part of Birmingham City University, in 2007 and has since been based in London.[citation needed] She has adopted various acting roles since then, from an open-air puppetry play, a punk rock musical feature film Silly Billy for Jackson Films, to Cross Purpose, a 1940s drama performed in the heart of London's fringe.[citation needed] She has appeared in short films Red Balloon and Sometimes the Moon Is Velvet.[1] She appears as 'Anna' in the 2012 UK feature film Life Just Is. In 2016/17, Bright filmed the lead role of Jessica Slade in the British feature film King of Crime, alongside Mark Wingett, Claire King, Nicholas Brendon, Vas Blackwood and her real-life partner Jonno Davies. The film was released in October 2018.[2]


Poppy was introduced in two episodes on 11 and 13 January 2011, in "filler" scenes which were substituted for scenes cut from the controversial baby swap storyline, in which Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack)'s son James, dies of sudden infant death syndrome and she secretly swaps him with Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace)'s son, Tommy."[3][4][5] A spokeswoman for EastEnders confirmed that the scenes had been edited following viewers' strong response to the story, but said that no complete scenes were removed: "Given the audience response to this storyline, we felt on this occasion that it was appropriate to respond and make some changes. The vast majority of material remains intact and we don't believe that those trims we have made will weaken or detract from the overall storyline for viewers."[6]

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Bright stated that her first scene was her favourite throughout her tenure, as "all [she] could think was, 'I'm sitting on a bench in the Square!'".[7][8] Kylie Babbington, who played Jodie Gold, revealed in May 2011 that Poppy would be returning and would have comical scenes.[9] Bright made her return on 30 June 2011.[10] Poppy and Jodie were reportedly used to add humour to the soap, in the style of reality-drama series The Only Way is Essex. On 24 October 2011, it was announced that the pair were to leave the show;[11] they made their final appearance on 14 November 2011.[12][13] According to an EastEnders spokesperson, there is potential for Poppy to appear again in the future.[11] In an interview with Inside Soap, EastEnders executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said of a possible return, "We may see Poppy pop up as I'm a big fan of Rachel Bright and the character, but Kylie is keen to pursue other roles."[14]

Bright re-joined the cast of EastEnders, appearing on-screen from 12 June 2012 until she left the soap again on 30 January 2014.[15]


Year Title Role
2008 American Dream Molly
Paintbrush Marisa
Sell Out Girl
Canbury Rachael
2010 Scrabble Rachel
Silly Billy Kelly
Sometimes the Moon Is Velvet Hettie
Red Balloon Julie
2011 No Escape Unknown
2011–14 EastEnders Poppy Meadow
2012 Life Just Is Anna
2012 Doctors Tara Pendall
2013 Don't Move Anna
2016 Milk and Honey:The Movie Jessica Slade


  • Julia Simmons in A Murder Is Announced (Nationwide Tour, 2015/16)
  • Lucy in Dracula (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2014)
  • The Girl in Bus Stop Kisser (Camden Peoples Theatre, 2014)
  • Polly in Electronica (Red Hedgehog, 2008)


  1. ^ "Sometimes the Moon is Velvet (2010)".
  2. ^ "King of Crime released".
  3. ^ Thompson, Jody (16 January 2011). "EastEnders bosses spark more fan fury after axing key funeral scenes in controversial cot-death plot". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  4. ^ Jennie Darnell (director), Carey Andrews (writer) (11 January 2011). "Episode dated 11/01/2011". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One.
  5. ^ Jennie Darnell (director), Carey Andrews (writer) (13 January 2011). "Episode dated 13/01/2011". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One.
  6. ^ Daniels, Colin (16 January 2011). "BBC explains 'EastEnders' scene changes". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  7. ^ Stewart, Tony (12 November 2011). "Rachel Bright, who plays Poppy, on life in EastEnders". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  8. ^ Stewart, Tony (12–18 November 2011). "Girls on the run". We Love Telly: 16.
  9. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 May 2011). "'EastEnders' star: 'Jodie has reasons to stay'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
  10. ^ Terry Dyddgen-Jones (director), Jeff Povey (writer) (30 June 2011). "Episode dated 30/06/2011". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One.
  11. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (24 October 2011). "'EastEnders' duo Jodie, Poppy to leave Walford". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  12. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (14 November 2011). "Phil's past comes back to haunt him". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  13. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (6 November 2011). "Corrie clash, 'Enders exits, E'dale hotel shock, 'Oaks arrival". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  14. ^ "Secrets of the Square". Inside Soap (46): 42. 19–25 November 2011.
  15. ^ Klompus, Jack (24 September 2013). "'EastEnders' axes four stars: AJ, Poppy, Carl and Kirsty to leave soap". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 September 2013.

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