Keanu Taylor has made his big return to EastEnders - and the soap used a secret code name to keep his return a secret.


Actor Danny Walters made an unannounced return to the soap on Tuesday night (13th December 2022) as Keanu walked back onto Albert Square under the cover of darkness following the funeral of Dot Branning.

Of course, Keanu's mother Karen Taylor (Lorraine Stanley) will be delighted to see him but it remains to be seen what his former lover Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) will say now Keanu is home, considering their affair destroyed her marriage to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and resulted in the birth of her and Keanu's son, Albie Watts.

It's never easy keeping a shock return a secret from EastEnders' ever-devoted fan base, but the production team had a secret code name in and around the production of the show to hide Keanu's return.

Speaking to and other press at an event in December, members of the production team and Danny Walters revealed that Keanu was referred to as "Neo".

Of course, this is a reference to Keanu Reeves's character Neo in the Matrix film franchise.

This is not the first time this tactic was used this year either, with Shane Richie's return as Alfie Moon initially kept a secret with the cheeky chappie referred to as "Carlo".

In fact, there is a reference to this nickname with Alfie portraying "Prince Carlo" in Walford's Christmas pantomime during the festive season.

There are no doubt explosive times ahead in Walford and we can't wait to see how Phil Mitchell reacts to Keanu's comeback.

Discussing what brings Keanu back to Albert Square, Danny Walters also revealed: "Sharon is a strong force, but he's now got children, and Keanu's always been the man of the house in the Taylor household. So from where he's not had a father figure in his life, the way I've always played it is that he's always wanted to be the dad that his dad wasn't."

Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor in EastEnders.
Danny Walters as Keanu Taylor in EastEnders. BBC

He added: "I think he's always trying, he goes into those old habits where he sees himself becoming like his father. So he tries to always change those habits. So I think you know whilst he was in Portugal, whilst he was away from the Square, he had a lot of time to think about things - to grow up.

"And it got to a stage where he realised he had to take his future into his own hands and there was only one way which was to come back to the Square and to face the music."

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