EastEnders actor Nicholas Bailey has made a surprise one-off return to the BBC soap as his character Anthony Trueman, but he won’t be staying.

EastEnders fans saw Anthony return to Albert Square on Tuesday (July 22) as he arrived from Glasgow to visit his dad Patrick (Rudolph Walker) after his stroke.

Anthony’s visit gave him the chance to have a brief catch up with ex-love Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) before he headed over to the hospital to see Patrick, who has been left unable to move or speak.

Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) is hiding the guilty secret that he spent the night of his daughter Lucy’s murder with prostitute Rainie Cross (Tanya Franks) and although Patrick has discovered the truth, Ian is relying on his stroke injuries to stop fiancee Denise Fox (Diane Parish) finding out.

Seeing an opportunity to get Patrick out of the picture, Ian encouraged Anthony to take his dad back to Glasgow – but Anthony argued that he had never seemed like a father after abandoning him as a baby, and that home life was already strained because of complications with his own son, Ewan.

Despite Ian thinking he had talked the GP round, the episode ended with Anthony making his excuses to Denise and leaving her with a £2,000 cheque to take care of the costs of looking after Patrick.

A BBC spokesman confirmed to the Radio Times that Nicholas’s return to EastEnders was a one-off appearance.