Barbara Windsor made Ross Kemp return to EastEnders
Ross Kemp was forced to return to 'EastEnders' by Barbara Windsor.
The 51-year-old actor - who is married Renee O'Brien - last appeared in the soap as hard-man Grant Mitchell 10 years ago but was convinced to return to his old stomping ground by the veteran actress, who plays his on-screen mother Peggy Mitchell.
Ross quipped: "We met for dinner with my wife and her husband Scott, and she didn't put a gun to my head but she may as well have done.
"Have you tried saying no to Dame Barbara Windsor? It is not easy. She asked me face to face in the restaurant. I had no idea it was coming. She's clever and so is Scott. They knew what they were doing.
"Now I have to start thinking about pulling on Grant's old leather jacket.
"I've still got it but I don't know whether I fit in it any more. I haven't tried it on yet."
The star has spent his hiatus from Walford fronting documentaries, most recently 'Ross Kemp: Extreme World' on Sky1.
And he admits it will be "emotional" to film scenes with his brother Phil played by Steve McFadden and say goodbye to Peggy, who is dying of cancer.
Ross - who is set to return for a month in the build-up to Peggy's death - told The Sun newspaper: "It is going to be emotional. Barbara's character is being written out, so it is going to be surreal. I am looking forward to working with Steve McFadden again... I loved being in EastEnders, I had ten years on it.
"When I was younger people calling me Grant instead of Ross would really upset me. But not now"