EastEnders boss teases returning characters for 40th anniversary

EastEnders producer Chris Clenshaw has hinted that the show's 40th anniversary could feature the return of classic characters.

The BBC One soap will celebrate its milestone anniversary in February 2025 — and we're sure the production team have massive twists and turns in store for fans.

Clenshaw hinted as much in an interview with The Sun, where the producer confirmed the anniversary will be a time to lean into nostalgia.

"As we head towards our 40th year, I think the nostalgic element means a lot," he said. “Into the autumn and the end of the year, we’ve got quite a few treats coming up."

chris clenshaw
Chris ClenshawJack Dredd/Shutterstock

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Asked if some iconic characters from the past could return to EastEnders, the producer said: "Maybe. It all depends on the story and where the characters are. But it has to come from character, it has to come from story."

Clenshaw was coy on whether his team are already dropping hints in EastEnders scripts for the anniversary, but teased that "the 40th has been in the works for quite some time and Christmas is well under way".

Danny Dyer recently hinted that the EastEnders' 40th anniversary could be a good time to return as Mick Carter — though he insists it'd only be for a hallucination or a dream sequence.

janine butcher, mick carter and linda carter in eastenders
Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron - BBC

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"If there’s no closure there, then maybe I would come back for a dream sequence. I don’t think Mick could just rock up covered in seaweed!

"I think if they did it right, with the 40th anniversary coming up, if they came up with an idea of maybe Linda drunk or hallucinating, then I would come back and do some scenes with her. You know, because I do miss Kellie [Bright, aka Linda Carter], and I think maybe that would stop people asking me when I’m f**king going back!"

bianca jackson, sonia fowler, eastenders

Current cast member Natalie Cassidy, who plays Sonia Fowler, has also confessed that the EastEnders cast are in the dark about what show bosses have planned for the anniversary.

"We don't know anything," she told Lorraine in June. "We keep saying, 'What's going on?'"

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer, where most episodes drop early at 6am ahead of their TV broadcast.

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