Guess who’s coming back to Walford?cashmanLord Michael Cashman is to reprise his role as EastEnders’ first gay character Colin Russell as he returns to the soap after 30 years. Cashman, 65, is to make a brief return to Walford in a story line that bosses are staying tight-lipped about – but his visit to Albert Square will involve Dot Cotton.

Cashman starred as Colin Russell from 1986 to 1989 and shortly after making his debut, he found himself in a relationship with Barry Clark, played by Gary Hailes, which saw them have the first gay kiss in a British soap opera – and on primetime television.

Speaking about coming back to the Square, Lord Cashman said: “It was a real joy, indeed a privilege, to return to my old home of Albert Square. To be amongst so many friends again, and to be back in the place where 30 years ago I started an amazing journey.

“An amazing journey which incredibly helped to change the country, and certainly its attitude to lesbian gay and bisexual people.” Since his on-screen kiss on the soap, the show has featured many gay characters including Christian and Syed, Johnny Carter and more recently, Ben Mitchell and his now dead lover Paul Coker.