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Ian Lavender returning to EastEnders

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Ian Lavender returning to EastEnders

Ian Lavender is returning to 'EastEnders' for the festive period episodes.

The 70-year-old actor - best known for his role as Private Pike in 'Dad's Army' - is reprising his role as Derek Harkinson in the BBC soap and his character will reunite with Martin Fowler for a plot that runs throughout the Christmas period.

Speaking about his Walford comeback, he said: "It was a lovely surprise to be back and I had a great time. It was brilliant to work with some old friends again, especially those who I only briefly got to work with before."

Ian originally played Derek from 2001 to 2005, which saw him involved in multiple plots, largely consisting of his companionship with Martin's mother Pauline Fowler - played by the late Wendy Richards - who discovered that he was gay after she made a romantic move on him.

He was also looked upon as a father figure by Martin (James Bye), before leaving Albert Square to be with his own family.

Ian's comeback follows a spate of confirmed exits from the likes of Nitin Ganatra - who played Masood Ahmed - and Rita Simons and Samantha Womack, who play sisters Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell.