Cast Changes News

Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender returns to EastEnders as Derek Harkinson for Christmas

© BBC / Jack Barnes
© BBC / Jack Barnes

Ian Lavender is set to return to EastEnders this Christmas, following a decade long absence.

Lavender’s character, who was last seen in the soap in May 2005, was close friends with the late Pauline Fowler and soon became a father figure for Martin.

Pauline and Derek’s bond got off to an unusual start after he rebuffed a romantic move from Pauline, leading her to discovering he was gay.

Whilst Derek will be reunited with Martin, it has also been promised his storyline will involved ‘a number of residents’.


On his return, Ian said: “It was a lovely surprise to be back and I had a great time. It was brilliant to work with some old friends again, especially those who I only briefly got to work with before.”

Derek will return to Walford later this month for a short stint which will air throughout the festive period.

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Tommy Giffen