EastEnders mystery – is Kat really dead?

Big Mo's bombshell is a lie, but why the deceit?

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EastEnders has killed off Kat Moon according to Big Mo Harris, who returned to Albert Square tonight to break the news to Stacey Fowler her cousin had carked it – but Kat arrives back in Walford next week in the middle of her wake very much alive. So what’s going on?

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Jessie Wallace’s full-time return to the cast as the iconic Kat was announced in December, when it was also revealed she’d be joined by a slew of Slater women – as well as Laila Morse as Big Mo we’ll also see Gillian Wright reprise the role of Stacey’s mum Jean, and Katie Jarvis become a regular as secret cousin Hayley, initially introduced as a mystery brunette stalking Martin Fowler.

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While we never expected Kat to just tap her Oyster card at Walford East and slink quietly back into the Square without any drama, coming back from the dead is pretty spectacular in terms of making an entrance, even by her standards.

Kat’s fate was uncertain in her and Alfie’s ill-fated Ireland-set spinoff Redwater, which ended last year with Mrs Moon drowning after an incident with a motor boat. If Mo has just got word from the Emerald Isle that Kat never made it (although it’s been several months), she might genuinely believe her granddaughter is a goner. Perhaps she’s been declared dead with no body found, until next week’s resurrection.

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Or has Kat been forced to fake her demise for some reason? To get away from her disturbed son she was reunited with in Redwater? Or because she’s got herself in trouble with the wrong people and needs to lie low? Is Big Mo in on it to protect her?

We’ll know soon enough, but in the meantime Wallace has assured fans her character will be back to her sassy self in both attitude and appearance. In an interview in the current issue of Radio Times, she stipulated she wanted to get back to the rowdy roots of the Slater siren.

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“When I was in talks about returning, I asked, ‘can she be full whack Kat?’ It was completely different in Redwater – diluted down to the point where she was quite unrecognisable. So it’s lovely to be back in the heels and the leopard print.”

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.