EastEnders bosses have refuted claims that the soap’s cast have filed a petition urging them to axe the return of “nuisance” Jessie Wallace.

The Sun reports that senior cast members are furious about the return of 38-year-old Jessie, who is due to reprise her role as fiery Kat Slater in the BBC1 soap this autumn, saying it would be a “disaster” for morale.

It was announced last month that Jessie, who quit the soap in 2005, would be returning along with screen husband Alfie Moon, played by Shane Richie, 45.

A source told the paper: “A lot of the senior cast who worked with Jessie the first time round are livid. She was a complete nuisance when she was on the show. It would be a disaster for her to come back.

“She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and often upset stars during filming. By the time she left, a lot of them were breathing sighs of relief.

“A lot of the cast saw her as a bully. She was aggressive and difficult to deal with because she was so strong-willed.

“The petition was handed in last week. It didn’t go down well, but some of the senior cast felt it was a point that had to be made.”

But an EastEnders spokeswoman dismissed the reports, saying: “We’ve received no complaints from cast members regarding Jessie’s return and are looking forward to having her back.”

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