Neil McDermott will reprise his role as Ryan Malloy on EastEnders next month.


The character will return to the BBC One soap opera for a short stint in February as part of the ongoing underage pregnancy storyline concerning his biological daughter Lily Slater (Lillia Turner), the daughter of Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

Ryan - who is the brother of the long-running character Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) - was last seen on-screen in 2016.

Actor Neil McDermott said of his return to the soap: “When I heard what the story was I was really pleased that the stars aligned and I was able to revisit Ryan and set foot back on the Square.

"It was so lovely to see so many old friends and to work with Shona and Lacey again, as well as to meet and work with Ryan’s daughter, played beautifully by Lillia."

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Meanwhile, executive producer Chris Clenshaw added: "It’s wonderful to welcome Neil back to the role of Ryan Malloy. Although we haven’t seen Ryan for some years, his character is still intertwined in the history of two of the show’s major characters, Stacey and Whitney.

"We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him back for a short while as he’s thrust into the heart of the drama."

Viewers will have to wait and see what reception awaits Ryan when he returns to Albert Square next month.

Who is Ryan Malloy in EastEnders?

Ryan Malloy is the brother of Whitney Dean and the father of Lily Slater.

First introduced in 2009, Ryan's first major storyline during his time on the soap saw him establishing a sibling relationship with Whitney Dean after they both grew up not knowing of each other due to their selfish mother, Debra Dean (Ruth Gemmell).

Ryan later entered into a tumultuous romance and later marriage to Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks), which was complicated when it came out that he had fathered daughter Lily in a one-night-stand with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

Following this, a toxic love triangle emerged as Ryan began an affair with Stacey amid Janine's jealousy, culminating in Janine attempting to kill Ryan and then framing Stacey for attempted murder - forcing Stacey to flee Walford and imploding her marriage to Ryan.

In the aftermath, Ryan later had a romance with Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) before he fled Walford in 2011 after he accidentally killed Rob Grayson (Jody Latham) in Southend following the criminal's sexual exploitation of Whitney.

Despite this, Ryan made guest appearances in 2014 and 2016, checking in on Lily during troubling times for Stacey. In 2016, Whitney managed to persuade Ryan to stop running from the law and he handed himself into the police.

Ryan was later released from prison due to a lack of evidence and made a surprise return to Walford, revealing that he had entered into a romance with a prison officer named Helen and was moving to Wakefield, Yorkshire.

Ryan was last seen on-screen in 2016 attending the wedding of his sister Whitney to Lee Carter (Danny-Boy Hatchard) before heading to Wakefield.

Now Ryan will be back in Albert Square after receiving news of his 12-year-old daughter Lily's pregnancy following a sexual relationship with Ricky Mitchell (Frankie Day).

Stacey has been the primary source of support for Lily throughout her pregnancy, but will soon be facing a period without her supportive ex-husband and Lily's adoptive father Martin Fowler (James Bye) when he temporarily departs the Square.

How will Stacey and Lily react to Ryan's return to the Walford? Plus, how will Ryan react to the news that he is going to be a grandfather?

Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater and Lillia Turner as Lily Slater in EastEnders
Lacey Turner as Stacey Slater and Lillia Turner as Lily Slater in EastEnders BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Additionally, Ryan will be able to provide some support for his sister Whitney as she undergoes a difficult pregnancy with Zack Hudson (James Farrar) when their unborn child is diagnosed with Edwards' syndrome.

Finally, Ryan will have narrowly missed a reunion with his ex-wife Janine after she was arrested on Boxing Day 2022.

You can read more about Edwards' Syndrome on the NHS website, or visit SOFT UK and Antenatal Results and Choices for help and support.

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