EastEnders icon Pat Butcher will reportedly be making a surprise return to Albert Square, four years after she was killed off. But viewers shouldn't expect to see a miraculous onscreen resurrection – Pat is expected to make a brief appearance as a hallucination during Peggy Mitchell's death scenes.
Dame Barbara Windsor is currently filming her final scenes as Peggy on the BBC soap, and her exit looks set to be one of EastEnders biggest storylines, with Ross Kemp and Daniella Westbrook both confirmed to make guest appearances.
Pat Butcher is reportedly returning to EastEnders for Peggy's exit
When asked whether Pat – played by 73-year-old Pat St Clement - would also be making a comeback, a spokesperson said: "We have lots of special treats in store for Peggy's final episodes but we are not going to confirm anything as we don't want to spoil the surprise for the viewers."
An insider added: "Bosses are keeping tight-lipped about Peggy's final scenes. They are going to great lengths to pull out all the stops for Barbara's final episodes.
"Both Barbara and Peggy are EastEnders icons so viewers can expect lots of surprises for Peggy's final episodes. They are not to be missed and will go down in EastEnders history."
Both Peggy and Pat became leading matriarchs of Albert Square, and their rocky relationship led to some explosive moments – including their famous row over Frank Butcher (played by the late Mike Reid).
Both Pat and Peggy became matriarchs of Albert Square
Pub landlady Peggy appeared as a regular character on EastEnders from 1994 until September 2010. Since then she has made several cameo appearances, and recently made a shock return to tell her son Phil Mitchell that she was dying of cancer.
Speaking about her decision to leave Peggy behind for good, 78-year-old Barbara told the Mirror: "Everyone knows I love EastEnders and that will never change. Peggy is a character close to my heart but I made the decision a while ago that I need to say goodbye to Peggy once and for all as otherwise she will always be there, urging me to go back and that is something I need to shut the door on.
"After thinking long and hard about it, I realised that it is time for me and the audience to say our final farewells to the lady who I have loved for many years and I thought that whilst the guvnor, who I adore, is still in charge I want him to be the one to oversee it.
"I am grateful that Dominic has accepted my decision and together, since late last summer, we have been secretly plotting Peggy's last scenes."