Matt Di Angelo has returned to EastEnders to reprise his role as Dean Wicks after seven years.
The 36-year-old actor has also had stints on historical series Borgia and crime show Hustle as well as competing on Strictly Come Dancing.
On Monday, the BBC announced that episodes will see Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) in “horror” as Dean returns to Albert Square to work as the Beale family’s new business partner.
Dean is the son of Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) and brother of Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) who had a rape storyline involving Mick’s wife Linda (Kellie Bright) in 2014.
He then left Walford after facing a backlash from his family in 2016.
Di Angelo said: “In all honesty, he doesn’t want to come back to Walford. He’s sort of forced back there because his daughter, Jade is very ill.
“She has cystic fibrosis and needs a transplant, which has to be done at the hospital nearby.
“Dean has to live there so he’s on call for her appointments and in case the transplant comes through, and they need to move fast.
“He’s reluctant because he knows the repercussions of returning, but ultimately, he has to help his family.
“Dean also needs to make a living whilst he’s there, so he’s invested in a new business, which will be revealed as Cindy (Michelle Collins) and Ian’s (Adam Woodyatt) new pie and mash shop, Beale’s Eels.”
Jade Green is the daughter of Shabnam Masood (Rakhee Thakrar) and Dean from a brief relationship.
The soap said his return will bring drama to Linda as well as her family, friends and neighbours as Dean protests his innocence to anybody who will listen.
Di Angelo said: “It felt like the right time for me, but also for Dean. When Mick was alive, Dean wouldn’t have dared to come back to the Square because there’s no way Mick would have stood for it.
“Rightly so, because what Dean did to Linda is unforgiveable and even his parents Shirley and Buster turned their backs on him.
“But now Mick’s dead, I think it’s opened up that door to allow Dean to return as Linda doesn’t have him there to back her up. Without Mick, Dean can twist the narrative, and he has more chance of getting away with it.”
Prior to him leaving, Dean was acquitted off-screen for his attempted rape of Roxy Mitchell (Rita Simons) after pleading not guilty and did not appear to take any responsibility for his action’s against Linda.
Di Angelo said: “With Dean, it’s hard to know whether he accepts the fact that he raped Linda or whether he is so blind to his actions that he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong.
“You watch him, and you think, ‘How can he be so deluded?’ But I guess my job as an actor is to try and pick apart his inner psyche to see whether, deep down, he accepts that he’s raped Linda.
“I don’t think his opinion has changed since we last saw him, and I think that the time that’s passed has only convinced him of his position. That’s what is so complex about him.”
He also said that fans will have to wait until Christmas to find out if it is Dean’s body on the floor following a flashforward episode that hinted at the death.
Di Angelo also said he is looking forward to working with “old friends” like Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Fowler) and Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater) along with “really great guy” Woodyatt.