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Den is back from the Dead

Den is back!

Dirty Den is set to make a dramatic return to EastEnders after 14 years, the BBC have confirmed.

Actor Leslie Grantham, who played Dennis Watts in the BBC1 show from 1985 to 1989, is coming back to Albert Square after 12 months of negotiations, a BBC spokeswoman said.

Den's exit from the show was left open, although many viewers assumed he was dead after a confrontation with a gunman beside a canal.

But soap fans never saw his body fall into the water after the "fatal" shots were fired from behind an innocent looking bunch daffodils.

His return will require a degree of dramatic licence on the part of programme makers after a body was fished out of the canal a year after his disappearance and buried as Den.

Grantham, 57, has reportedly signed a six-month deal and said rumours suggested that the storyline would reveal he faked his death to escape gangland villains.

Grantham is set to return to work next month, but will not appear on screen until September.

Along with alcoholic wife Angie, Den was one of the most memorable landlords at the Queen Vic.

One of soap's badboys, he had a long-term mistress and also made 16-year-old Michelle Fowler pregnant.

In one of the best-remembered scenes in the soap, he served Angie with divorce papers on Christmas day, after she pretended to have a fatal illness