There’s a neat symmetry to Barbara Windsor’s reappearance on EastEnders in that, when she first arrived in 1994, Phil (Steve McFadden) was laid up in hospital.
And now, for Windsor’s much-publicised one-off return, Peggy’s back to visit her incapacitated son following his recent car crash. Peggy’s mission is to get Phil to pull himself together, get back to his family and protect his businesses from the conniving Carl White (Daniel Coonan), but viewers will have to wait until the episode airs on Friday 20 September to see whether she succeeds.
Of return to the BBC1 soap, the actress said recently: “It’s no secret how much I have always loved EastEnders and Peggy Mitchell and, by the number of times I’m constantly stopped by the British public and asked either ‘when are you coming back?’ or please say ‘Get out of my pub’ it seems they have too.
“It may only be a short visit, but it’s a family matter and as Peggy always said, ‘it’s all about family’.”
Windsor made her final appearance on the BBC1 soap in 2010 after cutting Phil’s apron strings following a fire at the Queen Vic. Since then the character has been living in Portugal and although scripts have referred to the fact that Peggy has seen Phil while on a brief holiday to the UK, she has never – until now – returned to Walford.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news