Bosses hoping to persuade 'EastEnders' matriarch to make permanent return

'EastEnders' bosses want Barbara Windsor to make a permanent return to the soap.

The 75-year-old actress will return to the show - which she quit in 2010 after 16 years - as Walford matriarch Peggy Mitchell for one episode this autumn, but programme chiefs are keen to get her to return on a long-term basis.

If she does agree to come back, Barbara will follow in the footsteps of returnees Michael French and Samantha Womack, who are bringing their characters David Wicks and Ronnie Mitchell back to Albert Square.

A source said: "Barbara may only be back for one day but everyone hopes they can persuade her to return again.

"Albert Square has really missed her and, along with David and Ronnie, she is going to give the soap a much-needed boost."

Peggy's return comes after her son Phil (Steve McFadden) is left in a coma following a car crash and show bosses promise the episode will see her lock horns with Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean), her son Grant's ex-wife who had an affair with his brother Phil during their marriage.

The source added to the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: "Barbara's first ever scenes as Peggy saw her visiting Phil in hospital after he'd been beaten up by Grant following his affair with Sharon.

"So it's fitting that Peggy would return to Phil's hospital bedside again. He's in a coma and it's not looking good for him at all. Peggy's beside herself when she sees the state he's in.

"There's also the small matter of Sharon being back in Albert Square. Peggy has never forgiven her for coming between her boys and never will. There's going to be one or two choice words from Peggy. She'll want to know exactly what's been going on.

"The fact Sharon is back in the mix of it all won't surprise her one bit. As far as she's concerned, she's always caused Phil nothing but trouble and always will."

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