EastEnders: Dean Gaffney to return as Robbie Jackson

But will faithful pet Wellard be coming back from the dead to join him?

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Actor Dean Gaffney will return to Albert Square for a short stint this summer to reprise the role of Robbie Jackson.

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The 37-year-old originally played luckless Robbie between 1993 and 2003 and hasn’t been seen in Walford since 2010 when the character made a brief reappearance over the soap’s 25th anniversary.

Now, Gaffney will be back for six episodes that will tie in with the upcoming departure of Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson).

“Robbie comes back from India with a son who’s four-years-old,” says Gaffney. “Robbie’s grown up a bit and he’s got a few more grey hairs, but in many respects he’s still the same. He was always hopeless in love and hapless with cash and he returns without a girlfriend and money.”

Since leaving EastEnders, Gaffney has taken part in ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and featured in 2013’s Let’s Dance for Comic Relief alongside former co-stars Natalie Cassidy and Ricky Groves.

As to whether he needed much convincing to make a temporary comeback to EastEnders, he adds: “Not at all. I’d like to do more, actually. It’s nice to get the call and still be thought of. The executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins likes to bring back characters who are still in the audience’s mind. And it feels natural for Robbie to want to catch up with his family.”

Dean Gaffney as Robbie Jackson with iconic EastEnders pet Wellard

During his original time in Walford, road sweeper Robbie was famed for his partnership with trusty dog Wellard. And although the lovable mutt was killed off back in 2008, Gaffney has high hopes that Wellard can be resurrected.

“Even now, people in the street ask me, ‘Where’s Wellard?’ EastEnders do bring characters back from the dead – just look at Kathy Beale. So you never know!”

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.

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And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.