Shane Richie is returning to 'EastEnders'.

Shane Richie

Shane Richie

The 54-year-old actor - who played Alfie Moon in the BBC One soap on and off between 2002 and 2016 - is reportedly set to make his return to Albert Square, after his on-screen wife Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) arrives back in Walford in Thursday night's (22.03.18) episode.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "With Kat's comeback the writers knew viewers would ask when Alfie would be back too, so they've managed to convince Shane to return. It won't be long-term but he'll play a role in a number of storylines in the coming months."

It comes just days after Shane admitted he would return to 'EastEnders' "for the right storyline".

He said: "At the moment I don't plan to go back because John Yorke has brought back the Slaters. I'm always saying when I get asked, I'm no good at saying 'no comment,' I find it rude. For the right storyline, of course."

Shane admitted Jessie is missing him in Walford, but won't put a date on a potential comeback just yet.

He added: "With Jessie going back, she said, 'Oh I miss you being there,' but who knows. Somewhere down the line there might be an opportunity for Alfie to go back."

And Shane is determined to reprise his role on the BBC One soap because his wife Christie Goddard wants him to get out of the house.

He said: "My wife wants me to get back to work. She's desperate for me to do it ['EastEnders'] - so I will.

"I've had two years off and I think that was enough for me. I'm ready to go back if they'll have me. It's the best gig on TV."

Christie added: "Yes, I'm going to make sure he does."