Deaths, break-ups, estranged family members. It can be hard to keep up with who’s coming and going in EastEnders.
Below, we round up the latest cast changes for who’s coming and going in the BBC soap…
One half of the Mitchell brothers, Phil is back on Albert Square. The infamous tough guy has returned to sort his family out after his daughter Louise was pushed into lit candles at her prom by the deplorable Alexandra D’Costa. Comforting her in hospital he’s determined to set things right for his daughter. Will he be able to seek justice and revenge for his daughter’s horrible ordeal? We can only hope that he does so and delivers it in true Mitchell style. At least Sharon is relieved to have him back on the scene…
Linda returned to the Square briefly back in June after actress Kellie Bright took time off to have her second child. Linda had spent months away claiming to be looking after her sick mother, but it quickly became obvious that she lied about her whereabouts when she returned to the square for a welcome home party held by her husband Mick.
Could she have been having an affair? This became more and more likely when Linda suddenly had to rush back to her mum’s side when she “had a fall”, only for viewers to see her mum up and about and looking quite well. Even more shockingly, her mother asked her “Where is Woody?” Has Linda been having an affair with EastEnders newcomer Woody Woodward this whole time? It’s just been officially announced that Linda will be properly returning to EastEnders on Monday August 7 and we can only presume all will be revealed in due course.
Whitney has just returned after fleeing Albert Square when her affair with Mick - Linda’s husband and her father-in-law - is exposed. She’s now back and has already told Mick she wants to continue their affair. However, things are now even more complicated for the Carter family as she’s also just announced she’s now engaged to Woody – who’s supposedly having an affair with Mick’s wife Linda! What a complex web these EastEnders weave! We can only predict that this will lead to some explosive episodes to come.
Lisa Faulkner - Fi Browning
Lisa Faulkner recently joined EastEnders playing Fi Browning - a stylish, sophisticated business woman. Some may say Fi has a glacial exterior, but is there more to her than meets the eye?
Lisa has appeared in many television dramas including Spooks, Holby City and Death in Paradise, to name just a few. Since winning Celebrity MasterChef in 2010 Lisa has forged a successful career as a cookery author, writing several bestselling books and presenting numerous TV cooking shows.
Sean O’Connor, executive producer said: "I'm really thrilled that we have been able to tempt Lisa Faulkner back to TV drama and back to the BBC. She’s an extremely accomplished and hugely popular actress and we’re very excited to have her in Albert Square.
"Fi Browning is something of a departure for EastEnders; a no-nonsense but sophisticated business woman with strength and vulnerability. But does she have an agenda? And who - or what- has she set her sights on?"
Lee Ryan - 'Woody' Woodward
Ryan, formerly one quarter of the boyband Blue, joined the Eastenders cast this spring for 'a short stint' as bad boy 'Woody' Woodward.
Ryan said: “I am so excited to be part of the show. Woody is the best role I could have wished to play. He’s a brilliant character, and it’s clear he’s been leading a full and colourful life. I can’t wait for people to see what he’s like for themselves."
Jo Joyner - Tanya Branning
Earlier this year the popular actress sparked a flurry of rumours about a possible return for Tanya Branning after posting a cryptic message on Twitter about some TV news that she can't reveal yet.
This came in the wake of Tanya being mentioned frequently on the show, following Max's return to the Square. It would be a massive coup for EastEnders if they could persuade Tanya to come back to reunite the explosive soap couple.
Jo Joyner last appeared on the show in 2015, when she memorably cameoed in the 'Who Killed Lucy Beale' live episode.
@ilovejojoyner I do. But I'm not able to discuss it yet. Watch this space x— Jo Joyner (@dollyjoyner) February 8, 2017
Sam Mitchell - Danniella Westbrook
The Mitchell family are depleted on Albert Square following the tragic exits of Ronnie and Roxie. However, a tweet from Danniella Westbrook got fans speculating over a possible return for famous Enders troublemaker, Sam Mitchell.
"Oh and just so ya all know ... IM BLONDE AGAIN .... Hmmmm Wonder why. #Time2Work #ShesBack #blondemeansbusiness." she said.
In a recent appearance on ITV's Loose Women, Westbrook suggested she would be making a return to Albert Square.
She said: “There’s a big chance of me going back into EastEnders. I’m going to be back there at the end of the year.”
However, a spokesman for EastEnders apparently denied the claim and said: “There are no plans for Danniella to return.”
Westbrook last appeared on the show in 2016 during a four-episode stint to mark the exit of Peggy Mitchell. Commenting afterwards on Instragram, the actress wrote: "It's such a shame I won't be going back to the show, as I think people would of loved to see Sam as a mum and with a different take on the character.
"But I don't write the show I just do what they tell me. And they've done what they always do, use Sam when she's needed and then send her off in a black cab.
"I wish Eastenders would listen to the public more. But either way I'm grateful of the 4 episodes I got to film."