EastEnders senior executive producer Kate Oates has revealed that a former character will return this Christmas as part of a "huge" new storyline.
After a break of almost three months caused by coronavirus, the long-running BBC soap will return to air next month with new episodes and a new 20-minute format.
Speaking about storyline plans for the rest of the year, Oates told reporters this week: "We have the second draft of the script stage for this Christmas.
"We have an exciting return planned and it's going to be part of a huge long-running story that we're going to be playing at Christmas."
Oates added that showrunner Jon Sen has EastEnders storylines plotted out so far in advance that the team already knows what is in store for Christmas 2021.
"Jon is so organised, we kind of know what we are doing the Christmas after as well," she added. "We have really long arcs and that's when you know you're in a good place when making a soap.
"So not only are we very much on the way to completion for this Christmas, we know where we are going with the following one. EastEnders Christmas is very much on the agenda."
EastEnders returns to BBC One at 8pm on Monday, September 7.