Deaths, break-ups, estranged family members. It can be hard to keep up 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…

[Who's leaving Coronation Street? All the latest cast changes]

Joining

Lisa Faulkner - Fi Browning

Lisa Faulkner in EastEnders as Fi Browning

Lisa Faulkner is set to join EastEnders later this year and will play 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?

When she arrives in Walford it is purely for business reasons, but what makes Fi Browning keep coming back?

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.

Speaking of joining the show, Lisa said: "I'm so happy to be joining the cast of Eastenders – it's an iconic show and I can’t wait to play my part in it. Fi Browning is a hugely exciting character and I’m really looking forward to working with Sean and all the team, and revealing more about her. I can’t say any more now as I’m sworn to secrecy, but it’s going to be a lot of fun."

Sean O’Connor, Executive Producer adds: "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

Lee Ryan

Ryan, formerly one quarter of the boyband Blue, will be joining the Eastenders cast this spring for 'a short stint' as bad boy 'Woody' Woodward, as confirmed by the BBC with the release of the photo above.

Executive Producer Sean O’Connor says: "I’m delighted to welcome Lee Ryan to Walford as ‘Woody’ Woodward. Woody is a man who has worked hard and played hard in bars, clubs and pubs around the world and has finally decided to stop wandering and put down some roots. He’s going to ruffle some feathers and obviously break some hearts."

Ryan added: “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."

Rumoured return

Jo Joyner - Tanya Branning

Jo Joyner

The popular actress has 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.

Tanya has been mentioned frequently on the show in recent weeks, following Max's return to the Square. It would be a massive coup for EastEnders is 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.

 

 

Possibly leaving

Danny Dyer - Mick Carter

Danny Dyer in EastEnders

Danny Dyer has already had to take a period of leave from Eastenders to 'recharge his batteries' but a spokesperson for the series has assured the press that his absence will be for "a matter of weeks and not months".

The popular Queen Vic landlord is currently the show's biggest star, but his contract runs out in October and the Football Factory actor has hinted that it's not a done deal he will remain on the soap.

Speaking to The Sun, Dyer said: "We'll have to see then [at the end of the contract]. Four years is a long time. It's been really rewarding but there's other stuff out there.

"I'd love to show other sides to me. I loved theatre and all that."

Dyer also confirmed that no formal talks had started about a new contract.

Returning

Linda Carter - Kellie Bright

Kellie Bright.  Photo credit: Steve Meddle/REX/Shutterstock

Photo credit: Steve Meddle/REX/Shutterstock

When Kellie Bright announced she was expecting her second child last year, her character Linda was written out of Eastenders and said to be taking care of her sick mother in Spain while the actress was on maternity leave.

Thankfully this was only ever meant to be a temporary arrangement, and Linda will be back behind the bar at the Queen Vic later this year - according to reports, she'll be back in June.

Rumours

Sam Mitchell - Danniella Westbrook

Sam Mitchell - BBC Pictures

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.

EastEnders have insisted that there are "no current plans" for Sam Mitchell to come back, but the show does like to keep secrets about cast members returning.

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."