EastEnders character Peter Beale is returning to Walford after nearly five years away.
Actor Dayle Hudson will take on the role of Ian Beale’s son, who was last played by Ben Hardy before the character’s departure in 2015.
Peter, who has previously been portrayed by six other actors including Hardy, has been involved in several major storylines over the years, most recently the Who Killed Lucy? saga around the death of his twin sister in 2014.
The tragedy was played out over a nearly year-long investigation which ended in a special week of live episodes to mark EastEnders’ 30th anniversary.
Lucy’s half-brother, Bobby Beale, was ultimately revealed as her killer and the news was too difficult for Peter, who opted to leave Albert Square for a new life in New Zealand.
Hudson will make his TV debut as Peter when the character returns to EastEnders next year.
He said: “I am really grateful and excited to have the opportunity to work on such an institution of British television, alongside some incredible actors.
“Peter has been away for some time so I can’t wait to find out what he’s been up to and I’m very excited to see what the future holds for him.”
EastEnders’ executive producer Jon Sen said: “As soon as I met Dayle, I knew he’d be the one to bring Peter Beale back to Walford.
“Peter’s a young man with a big heart but a bruised soul and Dayle’s a talented actor who captures his complexity perfectly. I welcome him to the company and can’t wait to start working with him.”