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…

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

Joining

The Taylor Family

new-taylor-eastenders

The residents of Albert Square are in for a rude awakening this summer as a rowdy new family are set to move in. EastEnders producers have just announced that the Taylor family will be joining the EastEnders cast this summer. Comprised of single mum Karen (played by Lorraine Stanley) and her children Keanu (Danny Walters), Bernadette (Clair Norris), Riley and Chatham (played by real life brothers Tom and Alfie Jacobs) and their pets Rooney the bearded dragon and Bronson the dog. 

EastEnders executive producer Sean O’Connor said: “I’m hugely excited at the arrival of Karen and her family in Albert Square. They’re noisy, brash and not-to-be-messed-with. Karen is a twenty-a-day lioness, bringing up her kids with no support, no money and a very loud mouth. But though they may lack cash, the Taylors have love and warmth in spades. This summer is going to be explosive as the Taylors settle in Walford. The Square will never be quite the same again…’"

Karen is described as being tough on the exterior but kind and loyal to those that she trusts. She certainly has her hands full with four kids, and can sometimes feel extra overwhelmed as both Riley and Chatham have learning difficulties. 

Lorraine said on being cast as Karen: “I’m chuffed to be cast in such an iconic show that I’ve grown up watching. Working with my new family is really quite special, and I’m proud to play their mum.”

While Keanu sees himself very much as man of the house and is very protective of both his mum and his younger siblings, Bernadette is a day dreamer who is obsessed with one day becoming famous. The family has an off-screen half-sister Chantelle who lives nearby with her boyfriend and two children. 

Returning

Danny Dyer - Mick Carter

Mick Carter

After a short absence from Albert Square, fan favourite Danny Dyer will be back on screen on May 19.

His character Mick has been away from Albert Square tending to daughter Nancy, who was hit by a car while backpacking in Bulgaria.

First-look pictures of his return suggest that Mick will find a tangled situation back at the Queen Vic. The scenes show Danny as Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter poring over paperwork for the boozer as he sits at his kitchen table.

Mick may well be looking confused by his admin as it could contain the news that, in his absence, mum Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) sold the freehold of the pub to pay for dog Lady Di’s vet bills and repairs to the building after its leaking roof collapsed on her.

Shirley will also have to confess that she forged her son’s signature to complete the sale, and that new owner Fi Browning (Lisa Faulkner) has already made some tough changes at the Vic with bad boy bar manager Woody (Lee Ryan).

Kellie Bright - Linda Carter 

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.

Recent newcomers

Lisa Faulkner - Fi Browning

Lisa Faulkner in EastEnders as 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

Lee Ryan

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."

Rumoured return

Jo Joyner - Tanya Branning

Jo Joyner

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.

 

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.

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."