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29/07/2014 03:35 BST | Updated 29/07/2014 03:59 BST

'EastEnders' Spoiler: 'Nasty' Nick Cotton To Return To Albert Square Months After His Own Funeral

'EastEnders' bad boy 'Nasty' Nick Cotton is to make a return to Albert Square - just months after his own funeral.

Nick - played by John Altman - last appeared in the BBC soap five years ago but viewers were not totally convinced by his policeman son Charlie's claim that his dad had died as a result of a heroin overdose.

During Monday night's episode, it became clear he IS still alive and is now poised to cause further trouble for his dear old 'ma' Dot Cotton.

john altman

John Altman, who plays 'Nasty' Nick Cotton in 'EastEnders'

Nick was introduced in the debut episode of the show in 1985 and viewers have seen him repeatedly pile misery on his mother with his crimes and his drug addiction.

At one stage he was on the verge of trying to poison her, but then had a change of heart.

He was last seen on screen in June 2009, having survived an explosion at the cafe, and viewers saw his funeral take place in March this year.

In recent months Charlie and his mother, Nick's ex Yvonne Cotton, have joined the show.

Altman said: "After a five-year break, I'm very pleased and much looking forward to returning to EastEnders.

"With the promise of some hard-hitting and gritty storylines, I'm sure the residents of Albert Square will be none too pleased to see Nick Cotton back on the streets of Walford.

"I'm also looking forward to working alongside Declan Bennett and Pauline McLynn. And of course being reunited and working once again with my 'dear old Ma', the wonderful June Brown."

The show's executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: "As we approach EastEnders' 30th anniversary, it's only fitting that our original bad boy - and soap's most iconic villain - returns to Albert Square to cause more trouble for his Ma.

"It's time for the indomitable June Brown to have the Nick story to end all Nick stories - and with Declan and Pauline in the mix too, it's going to be an exciting bumpy ride as the Cottons begin to unravel."

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