Former EastEnders favourite Simon Wicks – aka Wicksy – returned to Albert Square on Friday night to pay his final respects to his mother Pat following her funeral.

Wicksy, played by actor Nick Berry, showed up under cover of darkness in a special scene which followed the closing credits of Friday’s episode.

And in a brief tribute to his mother, he was seen approaching her flower-strewn grave and placing his own bouquet on top, before saying, ‘Goodbye mum.’

The character, dressed in a long dark coat, spent several seconds kneeling at the graveside before he turned and walked away.

It was the first time that Wicksy – who first arrived in Albert Square in 1985, just a few months after the show began – had been seen in the soap since leaving in 1990.

He originally fled from Albert Square with Ian’s then wife Cindy – played by Michelle Collins – after they had an affair.

The character had since settled in New Zealand, although Pat had, before her death, been seen asking Ricky to phone him and tell him about her illness.

There had been speculation that Nick Berry would return following Pat’s death, although his scene was filmed just 24 hours before the episode was screened, with show bosses saying the appearance would be a ‘one-off’.

The actor, now 48, went on to enjoy a successful career in other shows after his departure from EastEnders including ITV’s Heartbeat and the BBC drama Harbour Lights.

According to recent reports he has since retired from acting and runs a production company, Valentine Productions.