After months of rumours (and wishful thinking from fans), it’s been confirmed that Ross Kemp is set to reprise his ‘EastEnders’ role, and make a brief return as Grant Mitchell.
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The news comes just days after Peggy Mitchell’s shock return, and the announcement that Barbara Windsor’s character will be killed off in the Spring.
Ross’s return will coincide with the sad scenes, and as you’d expect, he’s delighted to be joining the whole Mitchell clan again.
“When I was approached about returning to ‘EastEnders’ for Barbara’s final episodes, it was something I could not turn down,” he says. “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.
“I am really looking forward to going back to ‘EastEnders’ and filming what are set to be some classic ‘EastEnders’ episodes.”
Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins adds: “Ross Kemp is top of every EastEnders’ fan's return wish list. And being an EastEnders fan myself, he has been at the top of mine.
“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.
We're counting down the days already....
“To have the Mitchell brothers come face to face again, having to face losing their mother, is an opportunity to show Ross Kemp and We are all so excited finally to have Ross back on the Square - and to have Ross Kemp, Barbara Windsor, Steve McFadden, Letitia Dean and Gillian Taylforth all on screen together at the same time as Peggy makes an exit like no other, this promises to be something very special.”
The Mitchell family tree is something of a tangled web, and we can’t wait to see how Sharon and Kathy react to his return.
Grant left Albert Square for good in 1999, though he has made a few brief appearances since.
During Friday’s episode, Peggy Mitchell made a surprise comeback, when a drunken Phil was reunited with his daughter Louise.
It has since been confirmed that Barbara’s return will be her last, and we’re already getting the tissues ready for what is sure to be one of soapland’s biggest send-offs.