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EastEnders character to return this week after 18 years away

ShowbizBy Sunday World
A face is returning to Albert Square after almost two decades away
A face is returning to Albert Square after almost two decades away

EastEnders' Phil Mitchell is set to fall back into the arms of his recovering alcoholic lover Lorna Cartwright this week.

The boozy business owner - portrayed by Steve McFadden - will be given a wake-up call when his former flame (Janet Dibley) returns to Walford, 18 years after she turned her back on Albert Square, and falls back into his arms after they bump into one another at an Alcohol Anonymous (AA) meeting.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Lorna was a great character and viewers loved her, especially her chemistry with Phil. No one wanted Janet to leave in 1998 and now the chance to get her back full-time will not be missed."

But Lorna's return couldn't have come at a worse time as Phil, who is battling with Cirrhosis of the liver, has just managed to rekindle his romance with Shirley Carter (Linda Henry).

Phil and Lorna got together in 1997 after they embarked on a steamy affair while the former mechanic was still married to Cathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth).

Meanwhile, although some familiar faces are making a reappearance, some well-loved characters will be departing the soap over the next coming months.

Maddy Hill - known for playing mouthy barmaid Nancy Carter - will be turning her back on the show to try other things.

The blonde beauty - who joined the programme in 2014 - said: "It was time for Nancy to take a break from her family and me from 'EastEnders' after a wonderful time."