Hollyoaks actress Gemma Bissix is returning to EastEnders – the soap that first made her a household name – it has been confirmed.

Gemma has quit her role as superbitch Clare Cunningham in Channel 4’s teen soap to head to Walford to reprise her role as Clare Bates – the character she first played when she was just 10 years old.

Gemma, now 24, joined the BBC1 soap in 1993 as the daughter of Debbie Tyler. Clare left with stepdad Nigel Bates (Paul Bradley) in 1998 after Debbie was killed in car crash.

Gemma has proved a massive hit with Hollyoaks fans for her portrayal of Clare Cunningham.

Viewers have seen her character marry Max Cunningham in a bid to cheat him out of his money, manipulate half of Chester to get what she wants, and kidnap the girlfriend of someone who tried to kill her.

Gemma bagged the Villian Of The Year gong at the British Soap Awards 2007.

A source said: “Clare goes back to Walford hoping to stay with Dot, who is thrilled to see her. But Clare seems cagey when asked about her stepdad Nigel. She really shakes things up.”

Gemma is expected to appear in EastEnders early next year.