Shane Richie will return to 'EastEnders' later this year.

Shane Richie

Shane Richie

The 54-year-old actor will reprise his role as Alfie Moon for a big autumn storyline, after he re-appeared on the BBC One soap in May only for his alter-ego to discover his wife Kat Moon's (Jessie Wallace) cousin Hayley Slater (Katie Jarvis) is carrying his baby.

Alfie was under the impression Hayley was about to have a termination before he headed back to Spain, and he will no doubt be shocked to see she decided to keep their unborn baby.

Shane's alter-ego will get in touch with Kat to ask for her help with a favour, but unbeknown to her he will be in London to surprise her.

The actor has already started shooting his comeback ahead of the autumn plot.

In May, Shane hinted that he could make a permanent 'EastEnders' return.

He said: "I think when you see tonight's it actually raises more questions, so this is certainly not the last you will see of Alfie. But I can't say any more than that."

Alfie's May return was kept firmly under wraps by 'EastEnders' bosses after Shane met with executive producer John Yorke about a comeback, and the producers went to extreme lengths to ensure nobody knew he was back.

Shane added: "We had code names, censored scripts, cars with blacked out windows.

"Obviously John and the team wanted to keep it a surprise for everyone.

"It was exciting to be back at Elstree, especially without anyone knowing."

Before Alfie's 'EastEnders' return earlier this year, viewers last saw the character in the soap's 2017 spin-off show, 'Kat and Alfie: Redwater'.

The programme saw Kat and Alfie head to Ireland to find her secret son, but the trip nearly killed the pair of them, and the series concluded with the fates of the beloved characters unknown.

Kat was involved in a potentially-devastating boat accident and Alfie, who has a brain tumour, and was last seen on a hospital bed.