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04th Jul 2024

EastEnders legend returning to Albert Square after decades away

Ryan Price

‘Dirty Den’s’ killer is coming back to Walford.

Tracy-Ann Oberman is returning to Eastenders to reprise her role as Chrissie Watts after almost 20 years away.

Chrissie last appeared in the long-running soap opera in December 2005, when she went to jail for murdering her husband “Dirty Den” Watts, played by the late Leslie Grantham.

The BBC have revealed that Oberman has already started filming her return episode, but clarified that it won’t air until late-autumn.

EastEnders legend returning to Albert Square after decades away

Eastenders executive producer Chris Clenshaw said he wouldn’t reveal plotlines, but promised “it’s never quiet when Chrissie Watts is around”.

Watts was a troublemaker during her original stint on the show, always in the centre of any drama.

From hacking off Kate Mitchell’s (Jill Halfpenny) hair after she discovered the affair between her and husband Den, to finding herself on the receiving end of Kat Slater’s (Jessie Wallace) wrath for getting daughter Zoe caught up in his murder, there are many people in Walford who were glad to see the back of her.

It’ll be interesting to see whether she arrives into Albert Square like a tornado this time around, or has matured during her two decades away from Walford.

“Although the character hasn’t been seen on screen for almost 20 years, Chrissie is cemented in EastEnders’ rich history for her murder of Walford’s most infamous villain, and Sharon’s beloved father, Dirty Den,” Clenshaw said.

“I’m keeping tight-lipped on the exact circumstances relating to her return for the time being.”

(Getty Images)

Since her time on the soap, Oberman has featured in shows such as Doctor Who and After Life, and as Auntie Val in Friday Night Dinner.

Oberman is also an experienced theatre actor, and most recently starred as Shylock in retelling of Shakespeare play The Merchant of Venice 1936, which went on a national tour.

Speaking to the BBC about her return to the square, the 57-year-old said: “Chrissie Watts was such a great character to play – a victim or a villain.

“She is a real fan favourite so, when [executive producer] Chris Clenshaw asked me to come back and revisit her and see what has happened in the last 19 years, I jumped at the chance,” she added.

“The scripts are fantastic and I hope the viewers enjoy her as much as I am enjoying playing her again.”

The show will celebrate it’s 40th anniversary in February 2025, so expect some more cast returns and dramatic storyline twists as we edge closer to that timeline.

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