Lord Michael Cashman who played Eastender's first gay character Collin Russel will be returning to the show, 27 years after his last appearance. No spoilers yet on his storyline - just that he will be appearing in two episodes:
Ian Lavender will be making a short return as Derek Harkinson. Derek was on the show in the early '00s as Pauline's close friend. He was also a father figure to a very out of control Martin. This was likely done to give the family an older male figure while honoring Wendy Richard's wishes about not marrying again (Derek was gay). After he was fired the character was all but forgotten, so I'm glad he will be back for a story with Martin.