After Dean’s horrible assault, Linda Carter is a in a bad way and Mick realises there is only one person they can call – her feisty mum, Elaine Peacock. She’s a no-nonsense single lady who runs a pub in Watford and if anyone can sort Linda out, she can.

“Mick [Danny Dyer] phones up and says, ‘I need your help’,” Maria tells Soaplife. “He tells her that Linda seems depressed and he can’t find out what’s wrong. Linda is Elaine’s only child and they’re very close, so she drops everything to go to Walford.”

What’s Elaine like?
“She’s not afraid of anything and she’s full of love and laughter – she loves to eat, she loves to sing and she loves to laugh. She also adores her family and it was hard for her when they moved out of her pub and went to Walford.”

What’s Elaine and Linda’s relationship like?
“They’re close. Elaine is very proud of her, but there is also a slight competitiveness. Elaine loves dress-up as well, she loves handbags, she feels like she is more like Linda’s sister than her mother.”

What does Elaine think about Linda’s mood when she turns up?
“She knows immediately that something is wrong. Linda [Kellie Bright] would usually tell her mum if she had a problem, but this time she keeps ducking and diving. Elaine is really worried as she realises it must be something quite serious.”

What does Elaine suspect the problem might be?
“Initially, she thinks it’s marital problems, but then realises it’s something more. She notices that there is a difference with Linda when Dean [Matt Di Angelo] is in the pub, so she is very suspicious about that.”

How can Elaine help Linda?
“She hasn’t got a plan. She has some rules in life, how you have to put on a brave face if you’re a landlady in a pub. You leave your troubles behind and you walk through, like an entertainer you have to get on with it, whatever is going on.  She wants Linda to manage otherwise she’ll lose everything.”

How long will Elaine be around for?
“It’s very hard for her to leave her pub as she runs it on her own and is absolutely someone who controls everything, so she has got a time limit as to how long she can stay.”

Will Elaine be back?
“The door has been left open for her, so I very much hope so.”

EastEnders continues on BBC1. Click here for times and dates.