Ross Kemp to return to EastEnders for Barbara Windsor’s farewell episodes

Kemp will bring back his popular character Grant Mitchell after a decade away from Albert Square

Ross Kemp is to return to EastEnders later this year, the BBC One soap has announced.

The actor will briefly reprise his role as Grant Mitchell during Barbara Windsor’s final episodes as Peggy Mitchell, Grant’s mother. Windsor recently announced that her iconic character will pass away later this year following a battle with cancer.

“When I was approached about returning to EastEnders for Barbara’s final episodes, it was something I could not turn down,” Kemp said in a press release. “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.”

The show’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “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. To have the Mitchell brothers come face to face again, having to face losing their mother, is an opportunity to show Ross Kemp and [Phil Mitchell actor] Steve McFadden at their very best.”

Ross Kemp originally portrayed Grant Mitchell on EastEnders from 1990 to 1999 before returning for a second stint in 2005 to 2006.

Barbara Windsor, who was made a Dame in the New Year’s honours list, recently said of her decision to “kill off” her long-running character: “Peggy is a character close to my heart but I made the decision a while ago that I need to say goodbye to her once and for all, as otherwise she will always be there, urging me to go back, and that is something I need to shut the door on.”