EastEnders has provided fans a glimpse at the upcoming return of gangster Danny Hardcastle, played by ex-Brookside and The Bill star Paul Usher, who wastes no time in facing off against old enemy Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) when he makes a surprise visit to Walford later this month.
Ben is bowled over to see the hard man again and the fellas are soon discussing their unfinished business in the Arches. With bad blood between the brooding blokes boiling over, the situation soon becomes heated. Is Ben in danger? And what exactly brings dodgy Danny back to the Square?
Mr Hardcastle made quite an impression in March 2019 when he followed Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) back from Spain, where the pair had clashed over an organised crime turf war. To teach Phil a lesson, Danny organised for his precious daughter Louise Mitchell to be kidnapped, and when then-boyfriend Keanu Taylor tried to save her they both ended up locked in a shipping container.
It was all cocky Ben's fault, who went against his dad's advise by antagonising Danny and his crew when they threatened the Mitchell clan, provoking him to abduct his little sister.
Lou and Keanu were rescued (things didn't really work out for them, but that's another story…) and Phil sent Danny packing despite his request they team up on a job.
Nearly a year later Danny has tracked down Ben, who is currently struggling to adapt to his hearing loss following his head injury from February's 35th anniversary boat disaster. The last thing he needs is more aggro…
Usher famously played Brookie bad boy Barry Grant, basically the defunct C4 soap's answer to Phil, on and off for the entire duration of the show from 1982-2003. He was also corrupt cop Des Taviner in ITV discontinued continuing cop drama The Bill between 2001-2004.
Discussing his return to EastEnders, Usher said: “I’m thrilled that Danny Hardcastle has returned and yet again is causing havoc in his typical menacing way. I am really looking forward to the viewers reaction as the story unfolds.”
Danny is back on screen the week beginning Monday 16th March.
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