Life in Eastenders is set to change in the months ahead – and not just because former Coronation Street boss Kate Oates is taking control! In case you’ve lost track, here’s a rundown of everyone who’s leaving, arriving and returning to the BBC1 soap…
Actress Louisa Lytton is returning to EastEnders as Ruby Allen, 12 years after her last appearance.
Speaking about reprising the role, Lytton said recently: “EastEnders was my first acting job out of drama school and opened so many doors for me. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to come back and explore the character and I’m excited to see what’s in store for Ruby. We last saw her 12 years ago as a young girl, now she returns as a woman with scope for major change and challenging storylines.”
Exiting executive consultant John Yorke added: “Viewers will see a much more mature and confident Ruby who is set to be involved in one of our biggest storylines this year. I’m delighted Louisa is returning to EastEnders, she is a fantastic actress.”
EastEnders is bringing in a potential new love interest for Honey Mitchell in the shape of newcomer Adam Bateman, played by Stephen Rahman-Hughes, who establishes himself in Albert Square as the new local dentist – but it soon emerges he already has links to the area. Adam was a former foster child of Mariam and Arshad Ahmed, and will be reunited with the pair when he appears later this summer. But it’s Honey who he’ll be spending the most time with as the Minute Mart worker catches his eye, threatening hopes of mending her marriage to Billy.
Speaking of his new role, actor Stephen Rahman-Hughes said: “I’m so thrilled to be joining an incredible cast on such an iconic show, which I’ve grown up watching. It really is a dream come true!”
Bonnie Langford will exit in the months ahead, her next destination being London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, where she’ll be playing Dorothy Brock. Speaking about Carmel’s departure, the actress said: “I’ve had a wonderful three-and-a-half years at EastEnders and it’s been a privilege to be part of such an iconic show. My storyline has been such an incredible experience and I’m honoured to be part of something so powerful and poignant. However, I’ve known since the beginning of this storyline it would always lead to Carmel having to take a break from Walford.”
It is believed that the door will be left open for Langford to return to EastEnders, should she choose. It is also expected that Davood Ghadami will remain on the soap as Carmel’s son Kush after Langford’s exit.
Mel’s fledgling relationship with Jack will face a big threat this summer when her mysterious ex-husband Ray Kelly arrives on EastEnders. Described by show bosses as “a serial risk-taker and expert liar”, Ray will be the last person that Mel wants to see, having noticeably swerved questions about him since she arrived back in town at the start of 2018.
Said actor Sean Mahon: “I’m so happy to join such an incredibly hard-working and talented team and I’m very much looking forward to playing out the drama that inevitably ensues on any given day in Albert Square. My character, Ray Kelly is not one to tread lightly and his arrival to the Square will cause shockwaves for many of the residents… it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Dr Harold Legg
EastEnders welcomes back original cast member Leonard Fenton this autumn as he reprises his iconic role of Dr Harold Legg for the first time in over a decade. Speaking about his imminent return, actor Leonard Fenton said: “I am very happy to be back at EastEnders and am looking forward to working with June Brown and the rest of the cast and crew again.”
Back in May, when Alfie was revealed to be the father of Hayley’s as-yet-unborn child, actor Shane Richie hinted at a more permanent return for his character. “I think it is fair to say that Alfie will be back again, but how and when is a question the bosses can answer, I can’t say too much just yet,” said the star. What’s the betting that comeback happens just after the birth of Hayley’s baby?
Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.