EastEnders airs the returns of four major characters in huge episode 

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Four former mainstays staged an almighty EastEnders comeback (Picture: BBC)

Few shows on TV deliver surprise twists like EastEnders and the BBC One soap has done it yet again, with not one, not two, not three but FOUR major returns during a single episode!

Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins), who was confirmed to be alive and kicking despite having been killed off a quarter of a century ago, staged her long-awaited comeback this week, with Thursday’s (June 22) edition of the soap explaining the way in which she’s still alive.

The character, who was in prison during the late nineties when she died, turned informant on her reviled cellmate and thus was in witness protection, hence why she was declared dead and has been living off the grid for years.

Ian (Adam Woodyatt), meanwhile, has been living with her, with the iconic Walford legend making his on-screen return for the first time since Dot’s funeral episode last year.

Cindy was notified during the episode that her former cellmate, who was a notorious criminal, had died, which meant that she could return to her former lives if she felt the desire to.

But while Cindy and Ian were expected to be returning, they weren’t the only two characters who staged a comeback, with both Peter Beale and Lauren Branning making surprise appearances during the episode in question!

Ian has been living in France with Cindy (Picture: BBC)
Cindy is free to return to Walford if she chooses to (Picture: BBC)

Lauren was last seen at Dot’s funeral in December last year while Peter stormed out of the Square last July following a falling out with his family, which left him feeling unwanted and unloved.

Peter, who is now played by former star Thomas Law, knows everything about biological mum Cindy being alive and well, which came as news to Lauren, who railroaded the legend when she set her sights on her, berating her for being absent from Lucy’s life all those years prior to her murder.

In other words, there was conflict aplenty!

Peter, meanwhile, is very much still holding a candle for former flame Lauren, played by Jacqueline Jossa, who was unwilling to pursue a relationship with him given what she just found out, believing the Beales to be nothing but a family of liars.

Cindy, however, was adamant that Peter shouldn’t give up on his one true love, which begs the question if she will give up on hers – and no, we’re not talking about Ian.

Peter Beale is back – with former actor Thomas Law having reprised the role (Picture: BBC)
Lauren Branning also staged an unannounced comeback(Picture: BBC)

Cindy remains blissfully unaware that George Knight (Colin Salmon), her former husband, is residing in Walford with her girls Gina and Anna (Francesca Henry and Molly Rainford).

Ian, however, knows the truth.

Thomas Law, who previously played the role of Peter between 2006 and 2010, will be staging a full-time comeback this summer, and we can’t wait to see what unfolds upon his return.

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One.

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