Carly Wicks is to make a surprise return to 'EastEnders'.

The character - played by Kellie Shirley - will appear in Albert Square to support her mother Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) when she hears she has gone on a "downward spiral" after discovering Ben Mitchell murdered her friend Heather.

A source said: "Carly didn't realise just how much of a downward spiral she was on. It's hard for her to witness. Carly knows she's got a real fight on her hands to sober her up."

Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) calls in Carly when he realises little can be done to stop her from drinking herself into a stupor.

Carly first appeared in the soap in February 2006, but was axed when her on-screen father Kevin - played by Phil Daniels - quit.

Her return to the BBC soap - which has seen a number of leading stars take a break from in the last year, including Jo Joyner and June Brown - will only last two episodes.