David Wicks is to return to Albert Square, it has been confirmed.
Wicks, played by ‘Casualty’ and ‘Holby City’ star Michael French, had been rumoured for a proper return to ‘EastEnders’ since his brief appearance last year.
He returned to the show to visit his dying mother Pat, played by Pam St Clement, but prior to that had been out of the show for 20 years.
Though his appearance was fleeting, sparks flew on his return as he clashed with Jamie Foreman’s hardman Derek Branning, brother of his former lover Carol.
He will join the cast once more later this year.
Womanising Wicks’s character was often at the centre of explosive storylines, having affairs with the likes of Sam Mitchell and Cindy Beale.
“'It’s an absolute honour to have Michael back in the show,” said exec producer Lorraine Newman.
“Michael created an iconic character in David and with such rich history, with Ian, Bianca and of course, Carol, there’s plenty to explore in the future.”
The appointment comes, however, during a grim period for the show.
Its ratings have hit a significant low in recent months, with just 4.8 million tuning in on Tuesday night.
Samantha Womack, who plays Ronnie Mitchell, is also coming back to the show, and it’s hoped that a planned £1 million car crash stunt involving Phil Mitchell and a one-off return from Peggy Mitchell – played by Barbara Windsor – may boost ratings. [Daily Mail/The Sun]
Also in today’s press
‘Apprentice’ runner-up Luisa Zissman is reportedly being courted for her own baking show on the Food Network. She’s reportedly being pitched as a ‘sexy Mary Berry’. [The Sun]
The BBC has hit back over criticism that its news channels excessively covered the birth of the royal baby. In a statement, it said: “We are satisfied that our audiences had both the best coverage of a major historical event - the birth of a new heir to the throne - as well as options to view other news across BBC output as a whole. We have also been careful to feature a range of contributors and opinions across our coverage, including those who do not support the monarchy or the attention this event has received.” [Daily Mirror]
‘Dempsey and Makepeace’ stars Michael Brandon and Glynis Barber are set to appear on ITV’s new dance show. ‘Stepping Out’ is said to be like a cross between ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Mr & Mrs’. [The Sun]