Michelle Collins is reportedly returning to EastEnders 25 years after her character was killed off.
The 60-year-old actress starred as Cindy Beale on the BBC soap opera from 1988 until 1998 and is reportedly due to make a return to screens.
She will reportedly be joined by her on-screen husband Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), who is also heading back to the soap after a two-year break.
Michelle will make her return even though her character was said to have died in childbirth off-screen whilst serving time in prison for attempted murder.
A source told The Sun: ‘This has been done so secretively but it’s going to be an absolute bombshell — an unbelievable twist. Ian and Cindy are one of the most memorable couples in soap history.
Comeback: Ian and Cindy Beale will be seen trying to sell food on a farmers’ market stall in France when the characters make a return to EastEnders this summer, according to reports (Michelle Collins pictured in 1989 as her character Cindy Beale alongside Adam Woodyatt, who played Ian Beale)
Comeback: Actress Michelle, 60, starred as Cindy on the BBC soap opera from 1988 until 1998 and is reportedly due to make a return to screens (pictured this month)
‘But Cindy has been dead for 25 years — and nobody will see this coming.
‘The biggest surprise is that Michelle has so often said there’s no chance she’d come back.’
Ian and Cindy will be seen trying to sell food on a farmers’ market stall when the characters make a comeback to EastEnders this summer.
A source told The Sun: ‘Bosses wanted to deliver a backstory which explains where they’ve both been all these years.’
It is claimed that in scenes set to air this summer, Cindy will be seen arriving in a Citroen van while Ian uses a translation app on his phone to speak to the locals.
However, apparently the pair will be snubbed by the locals and Ian begins pining for Walford and its market on Bridge Street.
The source added: ‘It’s not entirely clear how or when they got back together, or how they ended up in France — but they seem to be a couple again.
‘It’s a clever and funny twist to have them continuing their catering work and working on stalls, just like they did on Albert Square.’
But EastEnders are far from the first soap to pull a surprise resurrection over the years.
MailOnline takes a look at the most dramatic returns from the grave we’ve seen on our screens.
‘DIRTY’ DEN WATTS – EASTENDERS
Dramatic: Dirty Den’s return to EastEnders after his presumed death was one of the most shocking storylines on the show
Dirty Den’s return to EastEnders after his presumed death was one of the most shocking storylines on the show.
Played by Leslie Grantham, Den was thought to have been shot and drowned in a canal by a gang member in 1989.
His daughter Sharon Watts identified what she thought was her father’s body, but it was in fact the gang member who’d had his teeth removed and Den’s signet ring planted on him.
It was eventually discovered by Den’s son Dennis Rickman, that Den had survived and was secretly living in Spain.
Fourteen years after his supposed death, the villain returned and surprised Sharon with the iconic line: ‘Hello, princess.’
He was finally killed off for good, when he was murdered by his ex-wife Chrissie Watts.
KAT SLATER – EASTENDERS
Shocking: Jessie Wallace’s character Kat Slater was declared dead in 2018 by Big Mo after being thrown from a boat and hitting a propeller
Jessie Wallace’s character Kat Slater was declared dead in 2018 by Big Mo.
She was last seen getting thrown from a boat and hitting a propeller before landing in the water on her spinoff show Kat & Alfie: Redwater.
Her family threw a party in her honour to raise money for her funeral, when in a shocking twist Kat appeared at the bash.
It was revealed she had been living in Spain with Alfie and their children and Mo had lied to get money to help her financial issues.
Unsurprisingly Kat’s unexpected appearance at the party led to a huge bar fight in the Queen Vic.
WARREN FOX – HOLLYOAKS
Fiery end: Warren Fox, played by Jamie Lomas, appeared to die dramatically after being tied up in a burning nightclub
Warren Fox, played by Jamie Lomas, appeared to die dramatically after being tied up in a burning nightclub.
He managed to free himself and jumped into the cellar, breaking his ankle and appearing to be crushed by a falling mirror.
However, a year later it was revealed he had succeeded in escaping and a flashback revealed the mirror had missed him.
Warren then stabbed Dale Greer to death before changing into his clothes and dumping the body.
At the time, actor Jamie said: ‘I was a bit worried at first, wondering whether it was going to be believable, but the story that they’ve come up with is fantastic and it’s something that I’m really proud I could be a part of.’
KIM TATE – EMMERDALE
Repeat offender: Claire King’s villain Kim Tate not only successfully faked her own death once, but twice, on Emmerdale
Claire King’s villain Kim Tate not only successfully faked her own death once, but twice, on Emmerdale.
In 1997, she hired a lookalike sex worker to drive around the village and then drive Kim’s car off a quarry into the water, escaping just in time.
During the time Kim was hiding on holiday in the Caribbean. But the plan went wrong when the woman got stuck in the car and drowned for real.
Kim’s car was found by Andy Hopwood with the body presumed to be Kim – with many village residents convinced her husband Frank Tate had killed her.
Kim then returned months later, shocking Frank so badly that he suffered a heart attack and died while she watched.
Then in 2021, Kim once again faked her own death to exact revenge on her son Jamie for secretly poisoning her.
She was seen being taken away by an ambulance before stepping out and saying: ‘I’m going to watch him celebrate my “death”, and then I’m going to come back, and I’m going to destroy him.’
HAROLD BISHOP – NEIGHBOURS
Resurrection: Harold Bishop was played by Ian Smith and has come back from death twice on Neighbours
Harold Bishop was played by Ian Smith and has come back from death twice on Neighbours.
In 1991, he was out walking with his wife Madge on the coast when he was swept out to sea.
He was presumed dead but his body was never recovered, with Madge only able to find his iconic glasses.
Five years later however, Harold returned to the soap, but suffering from amnesia and calling himself Ted.
He eventually recovered but then in 2008 his heart stopped, after he refused treatment for his prostate cancer and suffered a heart attack.
However, doctor Karl Kennedy went against Harold’s wishes to resuscitate him and brought him back a second time.
KATHY BEALE – EASTENDERS
New life: Ian Beale’s mum Kathy Beale, played by Gillian Taylforth, left the Square in 2000 to go to South Africa
Ian Beale’s mum Kathy Beale, played by Gillian Taylforth, left the Square in 2000 to go to South Africa.
However, it was then announced that she’d been killed off screen in a car crash in 2006.
But it was then revealed that Kathy had in fact faked her own death to get the insurance money, inspired by the famous real life tale of ‘canoe man’ John Darwin.
It emerged she had been bullied into the scheme by her abusive husband Gavin Sullivan and was eventually convinced to scape and return home by Phil Mitchell.
MERCEDES MCQUEEN – HOLLYOAKS
Fake demise: Hollyoaks’ Mercedes McQueen, played by Jennifer Metcalfe, appeared to meet a sticky end in November 2014
Hollyoaks’ Mercedes McQueen, played by Jennifer Metcalfe, appeared to meet a sticky end in November 2014.
She was repeatedly stabbed by gangster Grace Black and her seemingly lifeless corpse was dragged out of the house.
But in February 2015, she was revealed to be alive and living in a luxury villa on the French Riviera.
It emerged her ‘death’ had been a revenge plan, with Mercedes agreeing to help Grace frame Freddie Roscoe for her murder.
After the episode aired, Jennifer tweeted: ‘It’s good to be back.’
‘NASTY’ NICK COTTON – EASTENDERS
Fake: Nick Cotton was announced dead in 2014, seemingly from a drug overdose, leaving his mother Dot devastated
Nick Cotton was announced dead in 2014, seemingly from a drug overdose, leaving his mother Dot devastated.
But he soon returned later that year and was straight back to his villainous ways, attempting to extort money from his son Charlie, and cutting the brakes on Ronnie Mitchell’s car leading her to crash her car while in labour.
Dot hid Nick in an unused house and even helped get him heroin, but was shocked when Nick showed zero compassion for Ronnie, who was in a coma.
Nick then suffered a real drug overdose and Dot found him unconscious, before he briefly woke to confess to her he murdered Reg Cox back in 1985.
Dot refused to call for medical assistance for her abusive son and held him as he died.
She later confessed to killing Nick by letting him die, and she served four months in jail for his manslaughter.
GARY WINDASS – CORONATION STREET
Back again: Gary Windass, played by Mikey North, was announced to have tragically died in a car explosion in Ukraine in 2017
Gary Windass, played by Mikey North, was announced to have tragically died in a car explosion in Ukraine in 2017.
His girlfriend Sarah Platt was left devastated after being told by police there were no survivors and finding the St Christopher necklace she gave him in the wreckage.
But months later, he quietly returned with Sarah and Bethany finding him sitting on the sofa at home, offering them a cuppa.
However, Gary’s return was tainted when Sarah discovered he had cheated on her and got another woman pregnant while she believed him dead.
PAT PHELAN – CORONATION STREET
Villain: Evil builder Pat Phelan, played by Connor McIntyre, terrorised the residents of Coronation Street for years until 2018
Evil builder Pat Phelan, played by Connor McIntyre, terrorised the residents of Coronation Street for years until 2018.
His partner Eileen Grimshaw finally discovered his crimes and confronted him by the sea where he confessed to killing four people.
He then slipped over he edge of a cliff and was left dangling over the edge, before Eileen stamped on his fingers, causing him to plunge into the water.
However, he soon returned alive, being tended to by a little Irish woman after using a false intensity to cross the Irish Sea.
In June of that year, he was finally killed for real after Anna Windass stabbed him to death.