John Partridge to return for EastEnders special anniversary, plus new villain character

John Partridge has confirmed his return to EastEnders for the soap's 30th anniversary celebrations. The actor will reprise his role as Christian Clarke in the special episodes that will air next month.

Making his comeback, John's character will attend the wedding of his on-screen sister Jane, played by Laurie Brett, to Ian Beale, portrayed by Adam Woodyatt.

Christian will also be present at an exciting time in the Albert Square plot – the big reveal of who killed Lucy Beale.


John Partridge, who plays Christian Clarke on EastEnders, said he was excited to find out who killed Lucy

Fans last saw John appear on EastEnders during Lucy's funeral.

"I am honoured to be returning to EastEnders at this most exciting time to celebrate 30 years of the show, and more importantly to find out who killed Lucy!" the 43-year-old actor said.

The soap's executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: "How could Jane get married to Ian (again) without her brother there?

"Johnny Partridge and Christian Clarke are loved by the audience and his EastEnders family, and we are all thrilled to have him back for our anniversary. And we'll be putting Johnny's extensive theatre experience to good use, as he is plunged into EastEnders' live week."

Jo Joyner and Barbara Windsor have also confirmed their return for the EastEnders special

John left EastEnders in 2012, after having joined in 2008. He then turned to acting on stage, starring in A Chorus Line in London's West End and cabaret Dames 'n' Dudes at the Hippodrome.

The news of John's return is in line with Barbara Windsor and Jo Joyner, who are both confirmed to return as their characters Peggy Mitchell and Tanya Branning respectively.

Ross Kemp, better known as Grant Mitchell, has meanwhile refused the offer, saying that he was "too busy" to film.

Actor and comedian Richard Blackwood will play a new villain on EastEnders

The EastEnders anniversary episode will also see the arrival of a new character, a villain portrayed by actor, comedian and former pop star Richard Blackwood.

Richard, who has previously played Donkey in Shrek the Musical, said that he has grown up watching the show "so to film on Albert Square is something [he'll] never get used to".

"To know my first ever scene will be a live one hopefully means the team believe in me and I won't let them down," he added.