Colin Russell, played by Lord Michael Cashman, is set to make a brief return to the square next Thursday on EastEnders. He first appeared in the show in 1986 and was involved in the first gay kiss on British primetime television in 1989.
Since leaving the soap in 1989 he has been heavily involved in promoting LGBT rights and fighting discrimination. He is a founder of the charity Stonewall and now a Labour peer.
Lord Cashman acknowledged how influential his role in EastEnders has been in his life, saying: “It was a real joy, indeed a privilege, to return to… the place where 30 years ago I started an amazing journey. A journey which incredibly helped to change the country, and certainly its attitude to lesbian gay and bisexual people.”
“Arguably without EastEnders I would never have gone into politics; I would not have been one of the founders of Stonewall and its founding chair, and I would never have ended up where I am now.”
It has been confirmed that he will appear in two episodes, and although the details of his upcoming storyline remain mysterious it’s certain that his return will raise a big question for Dot.
Lord Cashman added, “The exquisite joy of having my scenes with the incredible ‘Dame’ June Brown was a bonus beyond anything else.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.