Wednesday 11 Dec 2013
Next year EastEnders will welcome back some familiar faces to Albert Square – the Jackson family.
Carol Jackson, played by Lindsey Coulson, returns to Walford early next year, as do three of her children, Robbie, Sonia and Billie – but why are they there and for how long will they stick around?
And how will things be between Carol and her estranged eldest daughter Bianca?
The last time Carol saw her daughter was when she was sleeping with her boyfriend, Dan Sullivan.
This classic Queen Vic showdown led to the breakdown of Bianca's marriage to Ricky and she left the Square with her son Liam in tow.
Mother and daughter have barely spoken since that fateful night.
Now, herself back in Walford, Bianca is unaware that her mother is on her way back too… sparks could fly.
Just what are Carol's reasons for turning up and will mother and daughter be able to work through their differences?
Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy, left Walford with Martin and their daughter Rebecca in February 2007 to start a new life in Manchester. Has it worked out for them?
With Sonia back in the Square, viewers will learn how life has been for the last surviving UK-based Fowlers.
Robbie Jackson, played by Dean Gaffney, last popped into Walford for a fleeting visit to attend sister Sonia's wedding to Martin.
He has been living happily in India with his girlfriend Nita.
We will find out more about what Robbie has been up to these past few years, and if he has managed to keep himself out of trouble.
But who's going to break the news to him about the death of his beloved dog Wellard?
Billie is Carol's youngest, the apple of her eye. But can this restless and troubled young man be the good family boy she dearly wants him to be?
The casting of Billie is soon to be announced.
Speaking of her return, Lindsey Coulson says: "I'm thrilled to be returning to EastEnders after all these years.
"I'm also excited and intrigued to find out what Carol and her family have been up to since we last saw her and where she will be going next."
Natalie Cassidy adds: "To be invited back to EastEnders is such an honour and I am very very excited that Sonia is coming back.
"For me, to be reunited with the original Jacksons is a dream come true and I think it will be a fantastic storyline."
Dean Gaffney says: "I am really looking forward to returning to EastEnders for what looks set to be a really exciting storyline.
"I was thrilled when Diederick called me personally to ask for Robbie to return once more and working alongside Lindsey, Natalie and Patsy again makes it all the more special.
"I'm sure with the family being reunited it will mean that there must be a lot of drama in store."
Diederick Santer, Executive Producer, EastEnders, adds: "I'm so excited to see Lindsey back at EastEnders, and the fact that we've got Natalie and Dean as well makes it extra special.
"This family were the original EastEnders Jackson Five, and I can't wait to see how they've grown and changed.
"These returns all contribute to the excitement and drama of EastEnders' 25th anniversary."
Carol Jackson first appeared in Walford on 16 November 1993 and her last appearance was 7 October 1999.
Carol is the mother to Bianca, Robbie, Sonia and Billie.
During her time on the Square Carol went through many ups and downs but her most notable moment came when she realised that her daughter Bianca was having an affair with her own boyfriend, Dan Sullivan.
When Carol found out she confronted Bianca in front of everyone in the Queen Vic which ultimately led to Bianca leaving the Square and her marriage to Ricky ending.
Carol and Bianca have not patched up their differences since and have rarely spoken.
Carol eventually left Walford in October 1999 to tend to her sick mother who subsequently passed away.
Robbie Jackson first appeared on screen on 14 December 1993 and left for India with his girlfriend Nita in February 2003.
He made a one-off appearance in June 2004 for Sonia and Martin's wedding.
Sonia Fowler first appeared on screen on 21 December 1993 when she was eight years old and was never far away from her trumpet. She left Walford with Martin and Rebecca in February 2007.
Billie Jackson was seen in the Square in December 1993. He was originally played by Devon Anderson.
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