Your guide to all the comings and goings on EastEnders over the next few months of 2019…
Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard)
Mick and Linda’s eldest comes home in his parents’ hour of need this autumn when Lee makes a brief return. Last seen in February 2017, Lee’s biggest storyline was his mental health struggle that saw his marriage to Whitney collapse, and led to the character contemplating suicide. “The way things are going for the Carters, it makes total sense that Lee would return,” says the actor. With little brother Ollie’s autism and mum Linda set to spiral into alcoholism, can Lee help the crisis-stricken clan? And what will happen when he’s reunited with Whit?
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.” Will she recognise Ben now that he has a new face?
Kim Fox (Tameka Empson)
Fan favourite Kim has been off screen for a few months while Empson took a temporary break, but she’s set to return just before Christmas 2019. “Kim has been working as a tour guide in Scotland,” the actress recently revealed, “but she is coming back…”
Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters)
Danny Walters is leaving EastEnders to pursue other projects, with his ‘Sheanu’ storyline looking likely to come to “a dramatic and blistering conclusion” around Christmas. And if and when Phil Mitchell finds out that Keanu is the father of his wife Sharon’s baby (not to mention of daughter Louise’s), it could mean curtains for Keanu.
“It has been a joy to play Keanu Taylor for the last two and a half years,” Walters told Digital Spy. “I have been blessed to work with the most fantastic creative team and I will miss them and my fellow actors immensely. EastEnders will always hold a special place in my heart and I will continue to be an avid fan.”
Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite)
Exiting soon after 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.”
Adam Bateman (Stephan Rahman-Hughes)
We knew handsome dentist Adam was too good to be true when he was introduced last year as a new love interest for Honey Mitchell – and we were right. The former foster child of the Ahmeds has become a womanising weasel, cheating on Hon with lovesick Habiba, but his philandering is set to be exposed which means the end of the line for the character. Will those fan theories about Honey murdering him come true?
The Panesar brothers: Vinny, Kheerat and Jags Panesar (Shiv Jolata, Jez Deol, Amar Adatia)
A trio of trouble descends onto the Square later this autumn when the Panesar brothers arrive and rile up one of the local clans – but which one? The soap’s first ever Sikh family are described as “charming, but still a forced to be reckoned with.”
Executive producer Jon Sen describes the newcomers: “A British Asian family of Punjabi Sikh heritage, Kheerat, Jags and Vinny are three very different siblings who turn up in Walford looking to settle a score – but fate takes a hand and they find themselves staying for good. We’re thrilled to be introducing this vibrant new family to Walford and to be sharing their stories.” Viewers may recognise Deol (Kheerat) from hotel period drama The Halcyon and Adatia from saucy comedy Brief Encounters, whereas young Jolata is a TV newcomer.
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