EastEnders hardman Grant Mitchell returns to Albert Square this week for a heartbreaking family reunion to say goodbye to his mother Peggy.
Documentary maker Ross Kemp makes his long-awaited comeback as Grant after a 10-year absence.
The 51-year-old actor, who was a full-time member of the cast for nine years until 1999, is back for Dame Barbara Windsor’s final scenes as Peggy Mitchell.
Ross Kemp is back in EastEnders (Ian West/PA)
The EastEnders icon, 78, is leaving the show for good, and her famous character will be killed off.
In the long-running BBC One soap, the clock is ticking down for terminally-ill Peggy. The cancer she thought she had beaten has spread and nothing more can be done.
As Peggy’s family rallies around her, news that his family needs him has reached Grant. The thought of losing his mother is the one thing that will bring him back to Walford.
Ross Kemp, Steve McFadden and their screen mum Barbara Windsor (Fiona Hanson/PA)
Fans are keenly anticipating the moment brothers Grant and Phil, played by Steve McFadden, 57, come face to face once more.
Talking about his decision to reprise the role, Ross said it would be a fitting end for Peggy.
“When I was approached about returning to EastEnders for Barbara’s final episodes, it was something I could not turn down,” he said.
Ross Kemp is back in EastEnders for Dame Barbara Windsor (Ian West/PA)
“Barbara is a very close friend, so when I learned of the storyline it felt right that the Mitchell brothers are reunited with their mother for the last time.”
Over the years, Grant has been involved in some of the soap’s classic storylines, including his fraught marriage to Tiffany (played by Martine McCutcheon).
His return is likely to spark drama as Albert Square is now the residence of Grant’s ex-wife Sharon (Letitia Dean).
Letitia Dean as Sharon (BBC/Dan Goldsmith)
She had an affair with Grant’s older brother Phil in the early 1990s before marrying Phil decades later.
The so-called “Sharongate” storyline is one of the most memorable in the Walford-set soap’s history.
But the conflict does not end there because Phil’s ex-wife Kathy Sullivan (Gillian Taylforth) had an affair with Grant. She is also a reminder of the Mitchell brothers’ turbulent past and present in Albert Square.
Ross Kemp as EastEnders favourite Grant, alongside Kathy and Phil Mitchell (Gillian Taylforth and Steve McFadden) in 1997 (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Speaking recently, outgoing EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell Collins hailed Ross’s return.
“Grant Mitchell is an EastEnders legend and finally he is returning home to Walford to say goodbye to his mother and be reunited not just with his old loves but also his brother.
“To have the Mitchell brothers come face to face again, having to face losing their mother, is an opportunity to show Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden at their very best.”