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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
James Brinsford

Shane Richie's EastEnders return 'saves' Jessie Wallace from axing after arrest

Shane Richie has returned to Albert Square as Alfie Moon and it could be good news for his EastEnders co-star, Jessie Wallace.

With Alfie back in Walford, it could force the hands of the producers to bring Jessie's character, Kat Slater, back despite them writing her out for a couple months after she was arrested on a drunken night out.

Jessie faced disciplinary actions from the soap's bosses at the BBC after she attacked a policeman in Bury St Edmonds, which led to her being arrested.

She was saved from being sacked but was not going to appear on the soap for a while.

Shane returning might mean that Jessie is back sooner rather than later as EastEnders bosses look to boost the soap's flagging fortunes with some new explosive storylines.

Almost twenty years since first appearing in Albert Square, Shane Richie is set to reprise his role as Alfie Moon (BBC)

A soap insider told The Sun that they are "thrilled" that Alfie Moon is back as "he’s one of the most-loved characters in the soap’s history."

The insider added that because Kat and Alfie "deliver one of EastEnders most captivating love stories" it would mean that it "secures the future of Jessie as Kat"

They reckon that the couple's "dynamite combination" would get "diehard fans tuning in again."

Kat and Alfie Moon played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie (BBC / Kieron McCarron)

The insider concluded that Jessie leaving permanently would have spelt "disaster" for the show's producers and that looking forward, there could be a "lot on new storylines they’re going to be at the centre of.”

Speaking about his return to the soap, 58-year-old Shane said that the chance to reprise the role of Alfie was too good an opportunity to turn down.

Hayley Slater (KATIE JARVIS), Cherry Slater, Kat Moon (JESSIE WALLACE), Alfie Moon (SHANE RICHIE) (BBC / Kieron McCarron)

The actor said: “It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be asked back to my TV home of Albert Square.

“I’m looking forward to catching up with some old cast mates and meeting some new ones.

“The new exec producer Chris Clenshaw has been instrumental in wanting to bring Alfie Moon back with some wonderful storylines . . . and who am I to say no?! I can’t wait.”

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