SOAP boss Chris Clenshaw teased a jaw-dropping comeback and some tough times for Linda Carter.
However, EastEnders viewers believe another icon will be returning to Walford after spotting a huge clue.
There is knockout drama ahead for soap star Kellie Bright as her BBC One alter ego, Linda Carter, gets ready for an explosive Halloween.
The Vic landlady has been accustomed to celebrate the event with her husband Mick but, since his disappearance at sea, she has had to face a messy grieving period.
But this week, soap bosses have decided to throw a spanner in the works and fans of the long-running show are convinced it could be Linda’s rapist Dean Wicks.
Dean left the Square in 2016 after being acquitted for the attempted rape of Roxy Mitchell.
Actor Matt Di Angelo’s return appears to have been confirmed when he re-appeared on the set of the London-based soap, although bosses are doing all they can to keep it under wraps.
The evil rapist is thought to be involved in the upcoming Christmas storyline which includes a dramatic murder mystery teased earlier this year.
Yet fans are also firmly convinced he won’t be coming back to Albert Square alone and, according to them, his on-screen mother Linda Henry will also come back as Shirley Carter.
“I wonder if Dean’s return could be part of an agreement to bring Linda Henry back”, one fan penned on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“I can’t say I’m bothered about Dean returning, but surely Shirley won’t be too far behind if Linda Henry is actually returning?”, another questioned as a third echoed: “Could this mean that Shirley IS returning?!”
Another added: “who is her surprise visitor? If it’s her Rapist Dean Wicks I wonder if he’ll bring Shirley back with him. I’m excited!!!”
“Shirley is coming back after Mick’s suspected death last Christmas, and her return is with Dean as she wants to mend paths with Dean as she doesn’t want to lose another Son”, one viewer wrote.
Another fan concluded: “After Danny Dyer and other Carters leaving, I reckon Henry would want somebody in her on-screen family with her.”
Viewers will recall that Shirley Carter left Walford a distraught woman in late 2022, after Mick seemingly drowned at sea while trying to save both Linda and Janine Butcher.
Linda Henry announced she’d be taking a break from EastEnders but assured fans her absence would only be temporary and speculation about her comeback has been rife ever since.
The first clue about Shirley’s potential return with Dean in tow was dropped in February, 2023, when Linda spotted the pair on a photo together.
But will it really play out as expected?
EastEnders airs from Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.