Dawson Casting: Subverted. Wendy Richard, who by the time of this series was over 40 and had been acting for over 25 years, took the role specifically because she was tired of playing younger, "glamorous" characters.
Dyeing for Your Art: Jill Halfpenny really did have her own hair chopped off for the scene where Chrissie cuts Kate's hair in revenge.
When EastEnders was first introduced, its creators tried to avoid casting actors who the viewing public would recognise as "stars". The two main aversions to this were Wendy Richard and Susan Tully.
Indeed, many alumni of Grange Hill ended up appearing in EastEnders. As well as the afore-mentioned Susan Tully (Suzanne Ross in Grange Hill and Michelle Fowler in EastEnders), both actors to play the role of Mark Fowler appeared in Grange Hill.
Former EastEnders actors had a habit of turning up as characters in The Bill: Irene Raymond (Roberta Taylor) = Gina Gold, Mark Fowler Mk II (Todd Carty) = Gabriel Kent, Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) = Beth Green, Natalie Evans (Lucy Speed) = Stevie Moss etc.
And vice-versa, especilly after the plug was pulled on The Bill.
Wag the Director: June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton is every bit as much a devout Christian in real-life as Dot is on the show. For this reason, she refuses to say anything that might be considered blasphemous, or have Dot do anything un-Christian. Additionally, she forced the writers to add scenes showing Dot celebrating lesser-known Christian holidays such as Maundy Thursday, which she collected charity money for — though this being EastEnders, she was promptly mugged and the money stolen.