EastEnders boss teases Christmas storyline as newcomers set to cause carnage

EastEnders hoss Chris Clenshaw has teased some familiar faces returning to Albert Square for the show's monumental 40th anniversary celebrations next year.

"The 40th has been in the works for quite some time," he told press, before suggesting that that sharp fans of the BBC One soap might have already caught subtle "Easter egg" clues in previous episodes.

He also shared: "The nostalgic element means a lot." Soap enthusiasts are abuzz with speculation, especially after Cindy Beale's astonishing return last May, despite her character supposedly dying in childbirth back in 1998.

Michelle Collins stepped back into Cindy's shoes, shocking her former flame Ian Beale with her unexpected reappearance.Could Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell be the next to make an unbelievable return from beyond the grave?

The sisters had a dramatic exit when they drowned on Ronnie's wedding day, as Samantha Womack's character tried to save Roxy (played by Rita Simons) but was pulled under by her own wedding dress, reports the Daily Star.

And let's not forget the iconic moment when 'Dirty' Den (Leslie Grantham) walked back into Walford in 2003, despite being presumed dead since 1989. With this precedent, it's anyone's guess which other past characters could surprise us during the upcoming anniversary extravaganza.

Den's second wife, Chrissie Watts (played by the fabulous Tracy-Ann Oberman), delivered the fatal blow in the Queen Vic back in 2005 during the show's 20th anniversary celebrations. Tracy has been dropping some juicy hints that her character might be strutting back to Walford soon, cheekily noting that Chrissie is "due for parole at any point now" after being locked up in 2006.

"She's served longer than most actual murdering prisoners and if she'd had a better lawyer, she would have got mitigating circumstances," Tracy has quipped about her character's lengthy stint behind bars.

Chris Clenshaw, the soap's executive producer, has hinted at possible returns, saying: "It's not just because of the lovely reaction. It all depends on the story and where the characters are."

He adds, with a nod to the show's upcoming 40th anniversary, "As we head towards our 40th year, it is the history of the show. I think the nostalgic element means a lot. But it has to come from character, it has to come from story."

While details of the upcoming plot remain shrouded in secrecy, it's expected to pick up from this year's Christmas storyline, which always promises to be full of drama. Last Christmas left fans on tenterhooks as The Six murder mystery unfolded throughout the year, culminating in the big reveal.

In a shocking twist, it was disclosed that Linda Carter (portrayed by the talented Kellie Bright) was the one who ended Keanu Taylor's (Danny Walters) life, using a meat thermometer as the deadly weapon.

Chris, from EastEnders, spilled the beans at the TRIC Awards, where the soap was nominated for Best Soap: "Christmas is well underway," he disclosed. "In the story office there is a board and it all connects. I compare it to a tapestry board, everything has to fit together. We've got the new Mitchells coming in that will stir some trouble up. And as we head through into the autumn and the end of the year, we've got quite a few treats coming up."

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer