Peggy Mitchell left Albert Square in 2010

Barbara Windsor is set to make a dramatic comeback to EastEnders for a special one-off appearance.

The actress played pub landlady Peggy Mitchell in the soap for 16 years before bowing out in 2010 when her character left for a new life in Portugal.

But Babs can’t wait to return to Albert Square for the explosive episode, which will see Peggy come to the aid of troubled son Phil.

‘It may only be a short visit, but it’s a family matter and as Peggy always said “it’s all about family”,’ Barbara, 75, says in a statement to the BBC.

‘It is no secret how much I have always loved EastEnders and Peggy Mitchell – and by the number of times I’m constantly stopped by the great British public and asked either “when are you coming back” or “please say get out of my pub”, it seems they have too.’

Peggy’s dramatic appearance will coincide with the return of Ronnie Mitchell, played by Samantha Womack.

And it’s thought that Babs might even consider coming back more permanently.

‘Since she left the Square Barbara has had a great time and kept herself busy, but she would not rule out making a long-term comeback at some point,’ a source tells The Sun.

‘She’s in no rush but she’s so popular with the viewers and so loved on set that it would make sense if she returned for good one day.’

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Anna Francis