Dame Barbara Windsor makes her final return as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders


Dame Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders (BBC)

EastEnders matriarch Peggy Mitchell, played by Dame Barbara Windsor, will return to Albert Square in just over a week for the last time.

Residents will be made aware of Peggy's presence when she takes a trip around the place she once called home on a milk float.

EastEnders stalwart Dame Barbara, 78, is leaving the show for good, and her famous character will be killed off.

In the long-running BBC One soap, the clock is ticking down for terminally-ill Peggy.

The cancer she thought she had beaten has returned and with time running out, viewers will see the Walford favourite reunite with her family to say goodbye.

Peggy will be greeted by alcoholic son Phil Mitchell (played by Steve McFadden) and her grandchildren by Phil, Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid) and Louise Mitchell (Tilly Keeper).

Peggy Mitchell with her family in EastEnders (BBC)

The extended family will include Phil's cousin Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick), his ex-wife Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) and their children Janet (Grace) and Will Mitchell (Freddie Phillips).

Peggy's niece Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) will also welcome the formidable figure back to Albert Square.

However, the Mitchell fans are keenly anticipating is Peggy's son Grant, played by Ross Kemp. The actor is reprising his role as the soap's hardman for Dame Barbara's final scenes.

Ross Kemp is back in EastEnders

Ross, 51, made his first appearance in the popular soap in 1990 before departing nine years later. He was last seen on-screen as Grant in 2006.

After EastEnders, Kemp moved on to a successful career as an award-winning documentary maker of acclaimed series such as Ross Kemp On Gangs and Ross Kemp In Afghanistan.

Ross said the prospect of going back to the soap that made him a household name is daunting. Talking about playing Grant again, Kemp recently said he was "wetting himself" at the prospect.

EastEnders' Ross Kemp, Dame Barbara Windsor and Steve McFadden in 2006 (David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock)

"Barbara is a very close friend, so when I learned of the storyline it felt right that the Mitchell brothers are reunited with their mother for the last time," he said.

Peggy, played by Dame Barbara since 1994, made a surprise return in January to tell Phil her cancer had returned.

Before joining the BBC One soap, Dame Barbara was best known for her Carry On movies. She played Peggy full-time until 2010, and subsequently revived the Walford favourite for occasional appearances.

Barbara Windsor is bowing out as Peggy Mitchell (BBC)

As the landlady of the Queen Vic, Peggy was much-loved for her feisty temperament and for her "Get outta mah pub!" catchphrase.

Initially played by Jo Warne in 1991, Peggy was recast with Dame Barbara walking into Albert Square three years later. She immediately made the role her own.

Peggy Mitchell will return to EastEnders in the week commencing May 9.