Belfast Telegraph

Dean Gaffney returning to EastEnders after 14-year break

Dean Gaffney is "really happy" to be returning to EastEnders after 14 years away.

Dean Gaffney is set to reprise his role of Robbie Jackson in EastEnders after 14 years away from the soap.

The 39-year-old actor starred in the BBC programme from 1993 to 2003, when he announced his decision to leave, but has made brief appearances in the show since then.

His new comeback will mark the fifth time he has returned to Albert Square, and Dean admits he can't wait to get stuck back into the role that made him famous.

"I’m really happy to be back. I’m so lucky to be given the chance to work again with such a talented group of people," Dean said in a statement.

Robbie was known for causing trouble when he first arrived on the show, but quickly became a favourite with viewers. It remains to be seen how and why the character will be returning, but EastEnders' executive producer Sean O’Connor said he's looking forward to exploring Robbie's story lines upon Dean's comeback.

"I’m thrilled to welcome back Dean as Robbie Jackson, one of EastEnders’ most loved and most popular characters," Sean said. "Bridge Street Market has never quite been the same without Robbie policing it in his high-vis jacket.

"Dean brings a wonderful warmth and fun to his portrayal of Robbie and I’m sure that audiences will take him to their hearts again, just as they have always done."

Dean's returning scenes on the soap will air in the summer (17), with the actor expected to start filming in the coming weeks.

It is also expected that he will be shooting alongside dog Wellard II, after the death of the original pooch who played his sidekick Wellard. Pictures of Dean on the set of EastEnders and alongside the famous Albert Square sign also show him sitting alongside the canine.

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