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Martin Fowler set to return to Eastenders

Martin Fowler is set to return to Eastenders with a new actor set to take on the role.

James Bye is set to take over the role of Martin Fowler. Credit: BBC/Eastenders

James Bye will take over from James Alexandrou, who left the soap in 2007 after 11 years.

He will join his wife Sonia in returning to Walford as he bids to save his marriage and spend more time with teenage daughter Rebecca.

Bye said he was honoured to be joining Eastenders as part of the iconic Fowler clan.

Iconic villain Nasty Nick is also set to return to Albert Square later this month.

EastEnders bad boy Jake Wood to dance on Strictly

EastEnders bad boy Jake Wood is preparing to strut his stuff on the Strictly Come Dancing dance floor.

Jake Wood Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Wood plays womaniser Max Branning in the BBC soap opera, but away from Albert Square he is a father-of-two who enjoys rock-climbing, running, cycling and boxing.

He said: "I'm doing it for all the dads out there and you never know, there's always a chance of being the first Walford resident to take home the glitter ball... Bring it on!"

He will be up against Towie star Mark Wright, singers Simon Webbe and Frankie Bridge and former rugby player Thom Evans among others.

Fifth actor set to play Ben Mitchell in Eastenders

Harry Reid is to become the fifth actor to play Ben Mitchell in Eastenders.

Harry Reid, seen here alongside Steve McFadden who plays Phil Mitchell, replaces Joshua Pascoe as Ben Mitchell. Credit: PA Wire

The TV newcomer will head to Albert Square later this year as Ben, who was jailed for killing Heather Trott, is released from prison.

Ben's return is set to cause "big repercussions" for Walford's residents including his estranged father Phil, programme bosses revealed.

Reid, who worked as a chef in a Marco Pierre White diner before training as an actor, said he could not wait to become a "fully-fledged Mitchell".

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Patsy Palmer to quit EastEnders

Patsy Palmer arriving for the 2014 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

EastEnders veteran Patsy Palmer is quitting the soap after more than a decade playing Bianca Butcher.

The actress, who is reportedly moving to Los Angeles in a bid to build a career in Hollywood, will leave the BBC1 show this year.

A spokesman for the star said: "Patsy is really sad to be leaving the show as she loves playing Bianca and working with Dominic, but she knows it's the right decision at this time in her life."

EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: "We are so sad that Patsy has decided to leave us, but completely understand that it's the right time for her.

Show bosses have said they will not kill off her character but have stated when she will be leaving: "Bianca won't be leaving Albert Square until the Autumn. We won't be getting rid of Bianca's puffa jacket just yet."

Ex-EastEnders star set for brief Albert Square return

Former EastEnders star John Partridge - who played Christian Clarke in the soap - is returning to Albert Square in the aftermath of the storyline about Lucy Beale's murder.

(Left to right) Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), Peter Beale (Ben Hardy) and Christian Clarke (John Partridge). Credit: BBC/PA Wire

The 42-year-old will reprise his role "for a short stint" on the show for the funeral scenes which started shooting yesterday.

Viewers will see Christian pay his respects and support his elder sister Jane Beale who was Lucy's stepmother which will mark the first time Partridge has been seen in the show since leaving in November 2012.

He previously dismissed any possible return, telling Metro: "I'm out of it forever. I didn't get killed or anything. We both left to lead a much better life out of the Square."

Lucy (Hetti Bywater) will be killed off with the whodunnit storyline set to run up until the show's 30th anniversary in February 2015 when the identity of the killer will be revealed.

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