Sid Owen is returning to 'EastEnders'.
The 50-year-old actor has agreed to make a full-time return as mechanic Ricky Butcher - who was last seen in Walford in 2012 before leaving for Germany - and will start shooting scenes alongside Charlie Brooks, who plays his on-screen sister Janine, and Kim Medcalf as his ex-wife Sam Mitchell next month.
A source told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “Bosses have an exciting storyline planned for his return, involving lots of key players.
“Ricky is an iconic character from Albert Square’s early days, and has been hugely popular over the decades. He has lots of unfinished business.
“The sky’s the limit for script writers. An autumn of bumper storylines is on the cards.”
Sid - who first appeared on the show in 1988 - is believed to be one of a number of past stars that producers are hoping to tempt back to Albert Square after ratings dropped to their lowest ever in June, with just 1.38 million tuning in.
The source added: “Producers want to return the soap to its former glory so the strategy is bring back some of the veterans, fan favourites and drama.
“Over the years there’s been a bit of a bloodbath of main roles so bosses have had to work out which characters are still alive and who can realistically return. Ricky fits the bill.”
The former 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' contestant - who has seven-month-old daughter Skye with fiancee Victoria Shores - admitted last year he would "never say never" to the possibility of returning to the soap.
He said: “Hopefully if the door’s still open — never say never. It’s a huge part of my life, and people love the character.”