'EastEnders' have confirmed Tom Watt and Linda Davidson will return to the soap for one episode next year.

(L-R) Tom Watt, June Brown, Linda Davidson

(L-R) Tom Watt, June Brown, Linda Davidson

The pair will reprise their respective roles as George "Lofty" Holloway and Mary "The Punk" Smith in the BBC One show, after three decades away from Albert Square, to pay their respects to Doctor Harold Legg (Leonard Fenton), who will lose his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Tom said: "I was delighted John Yorke asked me if I would return to 'EastEnders' for Doctor Legg's funeral.

"Doctor Legg is an iconic character so it feels fitting that Lofty should return to say goodbye.

"I have nothing but good memories from my time on 'EastEnders', so it will be lovely to set foot back in Albert Square all these years later."

Linda is "so thrilled" about reprising her role as Mary, who was the original Walford wild child, a punk rocker who turned to drugs which led to difficulties bringing up her child.

She added: "'EastEnders' was my first proper family. It gave me stability and a fantastic foundation from which to build an incredible life.

"The people of 'EastEnders' have been a consistent thread throughout the intervening years.

"I am so thrilled, and very proud to be returning to that family 35 years later. It's going to be a blast."

'EastEnders' bosses began contacting Tom and Linda about potentially return to Albert Square after Leonard agreed to head back to Walford.

John Yorke, EastEnders' executive consultant, added: "I'm absolutely thrilled to have Tom and Linda back for these small but incredibly important roles.

"As soon as Leonard Fenton agreed to return as Doctor Legg, it seemed just the best possible tribute we could pay both his character and the show.

"Mary and Lofty are huge iconic characters, and a central part of the shows' DNA.

"Though both have moved on to hugely successful careers elsewhere we are both thrilled and touched to have them back for one very special episode."

Lofty departed Walford in April 1988 after his marriage to Michelle Fowler (Susan Tully) broke down, and the former Queen Vic barman embarked on a new career as a social worker.

Tom turned his hand to sports journalism, presenting on radio stations talkSPORT and Radio 5 Live.

Linda was last seen on screen in May 1988 and went on to star in 'First of the Summer Wine' before forging a career in digital media.

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