Viewers have been left shocked after Shane Richie was seen back on EastEnders as Alfie Moon.
Fans saw Hayley Slater off to visit her mysterious boyfriend ‘Dave’ – who turned out to be Alfie.
The 45-year-old’s return comes after the Mirror revealed last December he was set to star again in the Square after more than two years away.
He was last seen in “Enders spin-off Redwater where he was seemingly left for dead after a boating accident in Ireland.
Speaking about his return, Shane said: “I met up with (exec producer) John Yorke quite some time ago and he told me about his plans to bring back the Slaters but that Kat and Alfie are not together.
“The last the viewers will have seen of Alfie was him in Ireland.
“Since then the audience will have learnt through Kat that they moved back to Spain but all that is obvious is that things between the two are really not good.”
Shane said the whole process of him being filmed was shrouded in secrecy.
“It was all very secretive. We had code names, censored scripts, cars with blacked out windows. Obviously John and the production team at EastEnders wanted to keep it a surprise for everyone, so it was really fun to be in on the secret. It was exciting to be back at Elstree, especially without anyone knowing.”
Asked if Kat will get together with Alfie, Shane says: “Kat and Alfie have so much history and you can’t have one without the other but at the same time, they often can’t live together. What’s interesting is that we find out what happened in Spain which I think the audience have wanted to know but where they go next remains to be see.”
Some fans want to know more about Alfie’s relationship with Hayley, after she stopped over at his flat all dolled up.
Shane said of Katie Jarvis (Hayley): "Katie’s really great. When we filmed Katie was relatively new to EastEnders but I think the audience is about to learn a lot more about Hayley Slater. So yeah, it was great – as an actor, it’s always great to work with new people so I really enjoyed doing the scenes."
He also confirmed he would be back just for two episodes at the moment, but said "this is certainly not the last you will see of Alfie" though he was tight-lipped on what else the character might do.
He added about Alfie’s time on the show tomorrow night: "Well without giving too much away I think that we are certainly going to learn more about what happened in Spain with Kat and Alfie as well as a few other things but that’s all I can say for now."
Boss Yorke was drafted in to rescue the soap this summer when former boss Sean O’Connor was axed amid plummeting ratings.
In July, the soap got its worst figures to date with 3.4 million viewers, but the audience has bounced back to around 5.5 million.
EastEnders continues tomorrow from 8pm on BBC1.
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