He's coming home for Christmas!
EastEnders bosses have revealed that Lee Carter will be back in Walford on Christmas Eve.
The former soldier, played by Danny Hatchard, will return when dad Mick arranges for him to spend Christmas with the Carter family as a surprise for wife Linda. But as Lee lands back on home turf, Linda is a sorry sight; asleep in the square gardens following a solo drinking session.
Says actress Kellie Bright on Linda’s reaction to Lee’s arrival: “She’s completely shocked and blown away. But as thrilled and excited as she is to see him, the timing of his appearance isn’t good…”
It was revealed back in September that Hatchard would be briefly reprising his role as Mick and Linda’s eldest child. Said the actor at the time: “The way things are going with the Carters at the minute, it makes total sense that Lee would return, even for a short stint.”
Bright adds that she was thrilled to be reunited with her on-screen son.
“It was really lovely,” she tells us. “It’s only when you’re actually acting with someone on screen and you’re doing scenes with them again that you realise how much you’ve missed them and how much you enjoyed working with them.
“It was great to do scenes with him again, and lovely to have him around. It was also great to be able to be a mum to an older child again – I’ve missed playing that parental role.”
Lee made his first appearance in 2014 when he saved great grandfather Stan from a fire at The Queen Vic. The character went on to have flings with Lucy Beale and Abi Branning, before marrying Whitney Dean two years later.
But their marriage ran into trouble when Lee racked up a debt whilst pretending to be a high-flying city executive – in reality, he was working at a call centre. He made his final appearance on the soap in February 2017; following Mick’s advice to walk out on his marriage for his wife’s sake, having physically assaulted Whitney during a row.
EastEnders continues on BBC1.