Nick Cotton returns to EastEnders
12:27am Tuesday 29th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Albert Square bad boy Nick Cotton is returning to EastEnders once again - just a matter of months since viewers saw his funeral.
There has been a question mark over the fate of "nasty" Nick - who last appeared five years ago - with viewers not totally convinced by his policeman son Charlie's claim that his dad had died as a result of a heroin overdose.
And during last night's edition of the BBC soap, it became clear he is still alive - and he is now poised to cause further trouble for his "Ma" Dot Cotton, played by June Brown.
Villainous Nick - played by John Altman - was first seen in the debut episode of the show in 1985 and viewers have seen him repeatedly pile misery on his mother with his crimes and his drug addiction.
At one stage he was on the verge of trying to poison her, but then had a change of heart.
He was last seen on screen in June 2009, having survived an explosion at the cafe, and viewers saw his funeral take place in March this year.
In recent months Charlie, played by Declan Bennett, and his mother, Nick's ex Yvonne Cotton who is played by Pauline McLynn, have joined the show.
Altman said: " After a five-year break, I'm very pleased and much looking forward to returning to EastEnders.
"With the promise of some hard-hitting and gritty storylines, I'm sure the residents of Albert Square will be none too pleased to see Nick Cotton back on the streets of Walford.
"I'm also looking forward to working alongside Declan Bennett and Pauline McLynn. And of course being reunited and working once again with my 'dear old Ma', the wonderful June Brown. "
The show's executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: "As we approach EastEnders' 30th anniversary, it's only fitting that our original bad boy - and soap's most iconic villain - returns to Albert Square to cause more trouble for his Ma.
"It's time for the indomitable June Brown to have the Nick story to end all Nick stories - and with Declan and Pauline in the mix too, it's going to be an exciting bumpy ride as the Cottons begin to unravel."