The one-off special was originally intended to air over Christmas 2001, but recording had to be postponed due to the arrival of Patsy's daughter Emilia who was born last July
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Sid Owen is yet to reveal whether he will return to Albert Square for good but confirms that he has been in talks with the show's producers

24 JANUARY 2002
Fans of top BBC soap EastEnders have a treat in store this spring - a one-off episode featuring two of the show's best-known former characters, Ricky and Bianca Butcher.

Patsy Palmer and Sid Owen, the actors behind the popular Albert Square duo, quit the award-winning soap in 1999 and 2001 respectively, but are to return for the special programme. Filmed entirely on location in Manchester the episode will bring EastEnders aficionados up to date on what the pair have been up to since they left Albert Square and headed north.

“We’ve wanted to do something a bit different and this gives us a chance to revisit two favourite characters and move their storyline on,” says an EastEnders spokesman.

Details of the script for the special remain under tight wraps. “I can’t give the plot away but it’ll be really, really good, and I am excited about it,” says mum-of-three Patsy.

Sid Owen, who spent 12 years in the soap as the lovable if slightly dim mechanic Ricky, left EastEnders to pursue a pop career. But although his single Good Thing Going reached the Top 20, he has spent much of the past 18 months travelling the world.

The actor has refused to comment on whether he plans to return to the soap full-time. He has confirmed that he had been in talks with the show’s producers, however.

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Jamie Oliver

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