Actress Jessie Wallace is returning to 'EastEnders' to reprise the role of feisty Kat Moon, soap bosses confirmed today.
She will join screen husband Shane Richie, who is also going back to the BBC1 show this autumn.
Alfie and Kat were last seen on Christmas Day in 2005, when they left Walford for a new life in America.
Kat, who first appeared in the soap in 2000, proved to be one of Albert Square’s most popular characters.
Viewers were gripped by her romance with Alfie, as well as the storyline which saw her confess that she was Zoe Slater’s mother rather than her sister.
Wallace, whose work since EastEnders has included roles in ITV1’s 'Wild At Heart' and BBC1 show 'Strictly Come Dancing', said of her return: “I’ve really enjoyed playing different roles over the last few years, but am excited to slip back into Kat Slater’s stilettos. I’ve missed her.”
Richie said: “I’m very much looking forward to returning to 'EastEnders' to find out what Alfie has been up to and what the future has in store for him. More than anything I’m looking forward to getting my face covered in Kat’s lipstick again!”
According to The Sun, Wallace has signed an initial one-year deal to return to the soap, and Richie has thrashed out a similar agreement.
John Yorke, controller of continuing drama, said: “Kat and Alfie are one of EastEnders’ most loved and iconic couples so they’re bound to get a very warm welcome from viewers when they return to Walford.
“We’ve had so many new and interesting characters settle into Albert Square since Kat and Alfie departed that it’s going to make for fantastic viewing when the feisty, fun duo ride back into the East End.”
'EastEnders' celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and will broadcast its first ever live episode on February 19.