EastEnders viewers were surprised by recent reports that Shane Richie will not be returning to the BBC 1 soap and his popular character Alfie Moon could be killed off. But it looks like we might still see Alfie back in Albert Square after all!

Ex-EastEnders star Shane Richie has confirmed he is not ruling out a return to the BBC 1 soap following various news reports he had turned down the chance to play Alfie Moon again.

“I wouldn’t – and in fact have never declined going back to EastEnders – as it’s part of my life. It’s like family!” Shane told Metro.co.uk. “And it goes without question that if EastEnders want me, I’d jump at the chance of stepping back into Alfie’s boots!”

But for the moment Alfie’s fate remains unknown, since the character’s life was hanging in the balance after emergency brain surgery in last year’s EastEnders spin-off, Kat & Alfie: Redwater. And when Alfie’s wife Kat Slater (played by Jessie Wallace) re-appears in Walford this Spring, Alfie will not be by her side.

However, Shane is keeping busy with other projects at the moment. He released a new album, A Country Soul at the end of last year and will also be back on our screens as entertainer Sammy Valentino in four episodes of ITV comedy Benidorm which returns for a 10th series next month. The actor recently tweeted a photo of himself from the set in Spain.

Ex-Brookside star Claire Sweeney, Nigel Havers and pop singers Carol Decker, Tony Hadley and Holly Johnson are also among the guest stars who will be checking into the Solana Resort.

Catch Shane Richie in the new series of Benidorm which starts on ITV in February