EastEnders: who is joining, leaving and returning to the soap?

Hello Bianca, goodbye Mel, Hunter escapes, plus Pam is back - all the changes to life in Albert Square

EastEnders cast - who's leaving, joining and returning?

Your guide to all the comings and goings on EastEnders over the next few months of 2019…

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RETURNING

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Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer)

EastEnders is bringing back gobby Bianca Jackson, five years after Patsy Palmer made her last appearance. This autumn’s storyline sees Bianca making a mercy dash back to the Square to be reunited with her youngest daughter Tiffany. The comeback coup has been masterminded by the BBC soap’s executive producer Jon Sen, who said: “When I joined the show in January, bringing Bianca Jackson back to the Square was high on my wish-list. I’m thrilled Patsy has agreed to return to reprise her iconic creation in a blistering storyline that will grip fans this autumn. There is no one more excited than me to see her step back into Albert Square again. I simply cannot wait.”

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Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero)

Dot’s granddaughter Dotty is back this autumn almost a decade after viewers first met the spawn of Nasty Nick Cotton. The character will now be played by Milly Zero, best know for playing Hannah in CBBC sitcom All at Sea, replacing original actress Molly Conlin. “I am so excited to be playing Dotty alongside June Brown who I have been watching on my telly since I was a young girl,” she said. “Dotty and Dot have such an interesting relationship to explore with a complicated history, so I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

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Lisa Fowler (Lucy Benjamin)

The BBC1 soap has confirmed that Lisa’s comeback story will see her get closely involved with pregnant daughter Louise – but does this mean that she’ll discover all about Keanu’s secret dalliances with Sharon? “With the recent news Louise is expecting a baby, it’s safe to say Lisa will want to keep a close eye on her daughter,” said a spokesperson. “But with such a chequered past in the Square, Lisa’s return is set to be far from quiet…” Added actress Lucy Benjamin” “I couldn’t be more excited to be returning and working with such a talented bunch of actors and crew. I love and adore playing Lisa and look forward to revisiting the role and seeing what’s in store for her this time.”

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Pam Coker (Lin Blakley)

The much-missed Pam Coker is going to be making one of her periodic guest appearances soon, with Lin Blakley having told the Express: “I love going back. I’m going back soon. Just for a couple of episodes and I love it. I love popping back. I’m so happy and pleased that I’m able to do that. I haven’t been back for a year but I’m going back for a couple of episodes, so that is wonderful.” The big question, though, is whether she’ll recognise Ben now that he has a new face.

RETURNING AND LEAVING

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Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter)

Mel’s jailbird son Hunter will be back on screens next week when he escapes from prison! The police are to be seen turning up at Mel’s door with news Hunter has scarpered and that his current whereabouts are unknown. As fans know, Hunter has been behind bars serving a life sentence after he bumped off Ray Kelly over new year. But with rumours circulating that Hunter is now set to be killed too, it doesn’t look as though actor Charlie Winter will be back for long…

LEAVING

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Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite)

Exiting along with her screen son will be Tamzin Outhwaite, whose return stint as Mel Owen will come to an end soon. “When [former producer] John [Yorke] asked me to return to EastEnders back in 2017, I jumped at the chance to play Mel once more but it was only supposed to be for a year,” Outhwaite said recently. “That year quickly passed and I agreed to stay on for another, but now the time feels right to once again pursue other challenges. I will of course miss so many people here at EastEnders, and I will forever have good memories of my time at the show, but I am also excited to experience new roles outside of Walford.”

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