BBC EastEnders fans ‘rumble’ return of soap icon in new murder twist

EastEnders fans are buzzing with speculation that a beloved character could be making a comeback to the popular soap, following a hint dropped in Tuesday night’s episode (9 April).

Recently, Sharon Watts found herself under police scrutiny over the death of her late fiancé Keanu Taylor, whose body was discovered last week. Long-time viewers will remember that Keanu met his end at Christmas at the hands of Linda Carter, who killed him with a meat thermometer in an attempt to protect Sharon. The Six, comprising Sharon, Linda, Suki Panesar, Stacey Slater, Kathy Beale and Denise Fox, then conspired to cover up the crime and their involvement in it.

Fans believe that Shirley Carter may be returning to Walford
Fans believe that Shirley Carter may be returning to Walford  

They buried Keanu’s body beneath the cafe floor and misled the police by claiming that Keanu had attacked Nish Panesar and fled. However, this deception and the truth about Keanu’s fate were recently revealed when his body was unearthed at the cafe last week. Now, Sharon finds herself as the prime suspect.

On Tuesday night, Linda was stunned to learn from her son, Johnny Carter, who is acting as Sharon’s legal representative, that the rest of The Six are retaining the murder weapon as leverage and are prepared to frame Linda if necessary, reports the Mirror. Despite this, Johnny promised to resolve the situation by securing Sharon’s release, even as she threatened him with a 24-hour deadline before she spills everything to the police.

After much contemplation, Linda finally made the decision to turn herself in. Yet in a dramatic turn of events, Linda’s world was thrown into chaos just as she was about to confess to being the murderer. Just as she was about to spill the beans, she and Stacey overheard a heated confrontation outside the Queen Vic between Dean Wicks and Harvey Monroe.

During the exchange, Harvey accused Dean of tampering with his daughter Jade’s anti-rejection medication following her recent lung transplant, to try and stop her from moving to Pakistan with her mum Shabnam. Dean, who has plans to relocate to America with Jade, became aggressive, leading Linda to confront her past attacker.

She boldly told him: “Any decent person would have the courage to face up to what they’ve done” but Dean cruelly retorted: “Oh give it up Linda, like you gave it up back then..”

As Linda was backed by her family and friends, Dean smugly declared: “Can’t touch me, any of you! ” hinting at his imminent departure from Albert Square. Harvey, in a poignant moment, then lamented: “If your mother could see you now” referring to Dean’s mum Shirley Carter.

A frustrated Harvey later vented to Stacey that men like Dean never seem to face the repercussions of their actions, questioning, “Where is the justice?” This sparked an idea in Stacey, and instead of Linda turning herself in, Kathy Beale revealed a plan to frame Dean.

Dean was quick to goad his rivals by acting untouchable in a move that may have sealed his downfall
Dean was quick to goad his rivals by acting untouchable in a move that may have sealed his downfall

The episode ended with a cliffhanger as Stacey was seen in Dean’s flat, murder weapon in hand, ready to plant it – and fans were loving every minute of what this could possibly mean for the villain. Soap enthusiasts will remember that Shirley was last seen on the BBC One soap nearly two years ago, when she left Albert Square in December 2022 following her son Mick Carter’s disappearance to stay with her daughter Carly Wicks.

After Tuesday’s episode, fans took to social media to express their hopes for a return. One viewer wrote: “I really need Shirley to come back and help Linda recover #EastEnders”, while another posted: “Shirley make it an epic comeback #EastEnders.”

Another fan speculated: “Mentions of George’s other son and Shirley got me hoping for a return ‘if only Shirley could see you now’ about Dean #EastEnders” and yet another added: “Could this be what finally brings Shirley home once and for all?”

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