EastEnders’ Ryan Malloy to return for pregnant 12-year-old storyline

Neil McDermott is returning to EastEnders next month. (PA/Alamy)
Neil McDermott is returning to EastEnders next month. (PA/Alamy)

EastEnders character Ryan Malloy is set to make a return to the soap as part of his 12-year-old daughter Lily's shock pregnancy storyline.

Ryan has been away from Albert Square for seven years, but is set to return this February with actor Neil McDermott stepping back into the role.

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The BBC One soap has announced he will be back for a short stint after learning that his 12-year-old daughter Lily is pregnant.

"It’s safe to say that his return to the Square is far from smooth-sailing, but viewers will have to wait and see the drama unfold onscreen," the announcement teased.

Ryan is Whitney Dean's (Shona McGarty) half-brother and one of Janine Butcher's (Charlie Brooks) ex-husbands, but his comeback storyline relates to his affair with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

He fathered her baby Lily (Lillia Turner), who is now 12 - and in a shock twist that aired at New Year, it was revealed that she is pregnant.

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McDermott said: "When I heard what the story was I was really pleased that the stars aligned and I was able to revisit Ryan and set foot back on the Square.

"It was so lovely to see so many old friends and to work with Shona and Lacey again, as well as to meet and work with Ryan’s daughter, played beautifully by Lillia."

EastEnders,11-08-2022,6537,Stacey Slater (LACEY TURNER);Lily Slater (LILLIA TURNER),***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 2ND AUGUST 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Stacey has been shocked to learn of Lily's pregnancy. (BBC)

Chris Clenshaw, EastEnders' executive producer, added: "It’s wonderful to welcome Neil back to the role of Ryan Malloy. Although we haven’t seen Ryan for some years, his character is still intertwined in the history of two of the show’s major characters, Stacey and Whitney.

"We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him back for a short while as he’s thrust into the heart of the drama."

Ryan first appeared in Walford in 2009 and was last seen on the Square in 2016.

He will just miss ex Janine, who made her most recent exit from the soap in December when she was arrested for perverting the course of justice.