It's never too much of a surprise to see a familiar face returning to Albert Square after some time away, but we have some big returns lined up on EastEnders.
There's lots more drama set to come on Albert Square as well, and it can be hard to keep track of all the comings and goings in the cast.
RadioTimes.com is here with a handy update on which characters are leaving, joining and returning to EastEnders in the coming months.
So who's in? Who's out? And which rumours are true? Read on for all latest details on cast changes
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer)
When is Mick Carter leaving? Late 2022.
This is the big one. Pub landlord Mick Carter will depart Albert Square later this year after actor Danny Dyer quit the soap after eight years, having debuted in late 2013.
Recent weeks have seen Mick experience a tumultuous split from wife Linda and grow closer to scheming Janine Butcher. Will Mick be able to mend things with his family before departing the Square?
During a chat with daughter Dani on their Sorted with the Dyers podcast, Danny said: "Let me tell you something – Mick's exit is going to be a very, very powerful thing. I would love the door to be left open, and as far as I know it is," he said. "So who knows. When I go out there and I fail miserably I can come back with my tail between my legs and go, 'Will you take me back?'"
The actor also denied claims he had signed a million-pound deal with Sky during the same chat.
"The big news is I've decided not to renew my contract," he explained. "That's all. That's not because I've fallen out with anybody – I love everybody. That job has been amazing for me. It's an important part of television. I'm grateful for the beautiful years I've had there. I'm going to miss the people massively. It's me taking a risk."
How will we wave goodbye to Mick from the Square? And what will come next for the Carters and the Queen Vic pub?
Dr Ash Kaur (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha)
When is Dr Ash Kaur returning? Spring/Summer 2022.
Despite not having officially left EastEnders, Ash Kaur has not been seen on-screen since January 2022.
However, the character is due to return to our screens in the coming weeks as actress Gurlaine Kaur Garcha has returned to filming in Elstree and has shared images on social media with her co-stars.
Ash left after falling out once again with her mother Suki Panesar, who had said homophobic comments to her daughter.
However, with Suki secretly grappling with her own repressed sexuality, could Ash be the person who gets her mother to open up?
Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton)
When is Ruby Allen returning? TBC.
Ruby played dirty to get her love rival Stacey banged up, which came back to bite her when she was forced to confess to her husband Martin who ended their marriage and she was carted off to jail herself after Jean framed her for drug dealing. Off-screen, Lytton was written out for maternity leave – she gave birth to a girl, Aura, in August 2021 – and in a neat twist, her character discovered she was expecting as she started her stint behind bars.
Lytton, and Rube (and baby Fowler?), are expected to return at some point in 2022.
Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt)
When is Ian Beale returning? TBC.
Walford legend Woodyatt took an extended break from January 2021 when his alter ego fled town after Sharon and Phil tried to kill him for his part in Denny’s death, and there is still no official word on when – or even if – he’ll be back.
The actor has been touring in the play Looking Good Dead, alongside former on-screen wife Laurie Brett, and appeared in the 2021 series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
During conversations in the castle, Woodyatt suggested no decision had been made about returning to EastEnders, and that he wouldn’t be available until April 2022 at the earliest. Have we seen the last of Ian?
Most recently,Woodyatt said on Steph's Packed Lunch in 2022: "I've kind of left, but not left. It's kind of the way the storyline has gone... I'm not there."
But when pressed on whether he could go back, the actor cryptically replied: "I could go back, and I could not go back. I don't know!
"The speculation has been hysterical. I think everyone is always going to speculate.
"But there are no plans at the moment."