EastEnders actress June Brown has revealed that John Bardon will be returning to the soap at Christmas – and hinted that there will be more festive cheer in Walford this year.

June, who plays Dot Branning in the BBC1 soap, confirmed that John, who plays her screen husband Jim, will appear in the Christmas Day show.

John, who was forced to take time off from EastEnders after suffering a stroke, briefly returned to the soap in August, in an episode that was watched by 8.5 million viewers.

June told Lanarkshire FM: “[John] came back not long ago and he’s done two episodes so far, his birthday episode which has come out [already] and another one, which is Christmas Day. I don’t know if I should say that but it’s not really that secret, is it?”

June added that it would hopefully be a happy Christmas for Walford residents this year.

“We’ve tried to make it more jolly, not so bloomin’ dreary,” she said, adding, “We have a bit of a laugh and I think it’ll be nice.”

Dot is also set to have her son Nick (John Altman) back in her life.

June revealed Altman was “coming back, and because he’s doing a pantomime, which was already booked, he has to go off for a couple of months and then he comes back again”.

She added: “I’m so pleased because I’ve been fighting to get him back for at least five years and I’ve finally succeeded.”