EastEnders: First look at Michelle Collins' return as Cindy Beale

Fans of the BBC soap don't have long to wait

Michelle Collins returns as Cindy Beale to EastEnders. (BBC)
Michelle Collins returns as Cindy Beale to EastEnders. (BBC)

Cindy Beale has been pictured returning to Walford for the first time in 25 years.

First look images of her much-anticipated return to EastEnders show the character — played by Michelle Collins — looking around her as she arrives.

She's clad in jeans and a jacket and has a bag slung over her shoulder.

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Cindy was married to Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) and was a Walford favourite back in the late 80s and 90s but died in prison off-screen in 1998 during childbirth.

However, it recently turned out that she wasn’t dead after all and viewers have been gripped as it was revealed that Rose Knight, George Knight’s (Colin Salmon) long lost wife, was actually Cindy.

EastEnders,01-06-2023,6708,Anna Knight (MOLLY RAINFORD);George Knight (COLIN SALMON);Gina Knight (FRANCESCA HENRY),***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 23RD MAY 2023***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Anna, George, and Gina Knight - played by Molly Rainford, Colin Salmon and Francesca Henry - are Cindy's new family in EastEnders. (BBC)

Cindy has been living in France with her ex-husband Ian and her son Peter, who she returns to Albert Square to look for.

And soap bosses have teased that “it’s not long before drama unfolds”.

Ian is also set to return to Walford, and is expected to arrive some time after Cindy.

The character's return has been a big deal in soapland, but some fans have said they were disappointed that the news got out before it aired.

Michelle Collins returns as Cindy Beale to EastEnders. (BBC)
Cindy Beale is back in Walford. (BBC)
Michelle Collins returns as Cindy Beale to EastEnders. (BBC)
Cindy Beale was thought to have died. (BBC)

“If that spoiler hadn’t been leaked, that would’ve been one of the greatest soap reveals EVER!” one person said on Twitter after the Rose twist was revealed.

“I hate whoever ruined it.”

Read more: EastEnders spoilers: Peter Beale rushes back to Walford, Anna contacts Cindy

Somebody else said: “Shame it was let out, more shock factor had it been kept secret.”

Cindy’s first scenes will air on Thursday, 24 August from 7pm on BBC One, and 6am on iPlayer.