It's been almost 20 years since Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) blagged his way into a job at The Queen Vic pub with Peggy Mitchell (Dame Barbara Windsor) - and won our hearts along the way.
Now the cheeky charmer is back, and naturally, he's heading straight into drama as he derails the wedding of soulmate Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace). But before we delve into that, there's a lot to catch up on.
As Alfie has been on a lengthy screen break, it's time to take a trip down memory lane, as well as examine what has brought him back to Walford.
So read on for all you need to know about Alfie, as RadioTimes.com prepares for his homecoming!
Alfie Moon's EastEnders history explained
Back in 2002, a man rushed through the market, stealing fruit from the Fowlers' stall and heading for the nearest pub. That man was Alfie Moon; and as Peggy waited to meet the pub's new manager, Alfie sneakily bagged himself, younger brother Spencer (Chris Parker) and Nana (Hilda Braid) a home when he pretended he was the man she had hired!
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Despite his deceit, it wasn't long before Alfie charmed 'Duchess' Peggy as well as everyone around him. He embarked on one of EastEnders' most memorable slow-burn romances with barmaid Kat Slater, and the pair finally got together after a series of disasters.
Unfortunately, their Christmas wedding was complicated as Alfie's divorce hadn't come through in time. He hired a mate to pose as a registrar, but when the truth came out, Alfie was honest about his mistakes and he and Kat were married when his divorce arrived in the nick of time. Happiness was short-lived when Alfie's debts caused Kat to turn to her ex-fiancé, gangster Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs), for money - and Andy agreed as long as she had sex with him.
When Alfie learned the truth, their marriage imploded. He had a brief relationship with Kat's sister Little Mo Slater (Kacey Ainsworth), but when it came to it, it was always going to be Kat for Alfie.
They drove off into the sunset for Christmas 2005 and left Albert Square as a snow machine rained down on them.
However, the pair returned to Walford five years later, with Kat now pregnant after a fling with Alfie's cousin Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) and the couple happy to bring up the baby together.
Baby Tommy Moon was born, but when Ronnie Mitchell's (Samantha Womack) own baby died of sudden infant death syndrome, she secretly swapped the two infants. Alfie and Kat were only reunited with their son when Ronnie revealed the truth.
Over the years, the pair's marriage endured a turbulent ride, including Kat's affair with Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman), a divorce which saw Alfie then go on to wed Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) and Alfie's attempt to claim on insurance by burning down the house - only for Kat to be injured as she was still inside!
After remarrying, joy arrived once more when Kat gave birth to their twins, Bert and Ernie Moon. But then Kat learned that she had another son who was the twin of daughter Zoe (Michelle Ryan) and Alfie was diagnosed with a brain tumour, just as Kat's beloved dad Charlie (Derek Martin) died!
One lottery win, an operation and a forgotten spin-off later, Kat and Alfie had now split as she returned to Walford alone in 2018.
When Alfie eventually returned, we discovered that he had fathered a child, Cherry, with Kat's cousin, Hayley Slater (Katie Jarvis), and Alfie turned nasty as he desperately tried to repair the situation once Kat found out. He spat vicious words at Kat over her character, and this altercation was the beginning of Alfie's exit plot.
Why did Alfie Moon leave EastEnders?
As Hayley jumped in to defend Kat, she pushed Alfie down the stairs, leaving the Slaters believing Alfie was dead. But as they discussed what to do next, a very much alive Alfie fled with baby Cherry.
Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) handed him fake passports, warning Alfie to think before he acted. Eventually, Alfie was forced to return their daughter to Hayley, who refused to let him have further access. Alfie tried to charm Kat, and she sympathised with him; but little did she realise how much trouble he was in.
He was now in debt again, this time with the bank, and Alfie persuaded Phil to lend him £30,000. But Alfie left, seemingly taking the cash with him!
In the days before Phil fell for Kat, he threatened her, ordering her to pay him back if Alfie didn't return. But when Alfie sent Kat a message about a hiding place, she found the money in a wardrobe - he had left it behind for her. Alfie claimed he would be back, but in fact, we didn't see him back on-screen until earlier this year, when he made a brief appearance in a call with Tommy (Sonny Kendall). But Alfie was too distracted to give him his full attention, despite trying to reassure Tommy that he was always thinking of him. But now, Alfie appears to be on a mission...
Why is Alfie Moon back in EastEnders?
Well, it's very simple - he's back to reunite with Kat! But that doesn't mean Alfie will get his wish. He pitches up - or should that be sails over - on his ex's wedding day, and makes several attempts to convince Kat not to marry Phil.
The bride is in no mood to listen, but Alfie won't give up. Yet, when he heads back to his canal boat, Bert and Ernie, the twin boys he shares with Kat, have stowed away.
This forces Kat to go after them, giving Alfie the opportunity to beg her once more to ditch her wedding for him! But will his pleas work?
And even if Kat does go on to become Mrs Mitchell, will Alfie stick around? It seems so, as EastEnders has pledged that Alfie is here to stay and that he'll be the Alfie of old!
Richie also teased that Alfie is set to find romance with Linda Carter (Kellie Bright). Could this all be part of a plan to make Kat jealous?
You'll just have to tune in to find out!
- EastEnders' Alfie Moon returns as Shane Richie reprises iconic role
- EastEnders' Shane Richie teases Alfie Moon "using" Linda to win back Kat
EastEnders airs on BBC One on Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.
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