EastEnders is about to bury one original character but welcome two back after 31 years in the beyond.

Well, the world beyond Walford, that is, as deserters Lofty Holloway and Mary Smith briefly return to Albert Square.

They were two of the BBC soap’s original 26 characters when it launched in 1985 and both moved away in 1988.

Now, they are coming back to pay their respects to pal Dr Harold Legg – who was also part of the 1985 line-up.

Former punk Mary, played by Linda Davidson, arrives with daughter Annie – who was last seen as a grubby toddler.

And Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) is astonished when Lofty, played by Tom Watt, appears on her doorstep.


They meet up with Mary in the Vic and when Dot (June Brown) arrives, they all reminisce about Dr Legg.

Tom, 62, said: “Doctor Legg is an iconic character so it feels fitting that Lofty should return to say goodbye.”

The former GP, played by Leonard Fenton 92, passes away on Friday and Mary and Lofty return next Tuesday.

Mary used to be a drug user whose lifestyle put her kid at risk.

She was last seen getting a bus out of Walford with Annie after clashing with her parents.

Linda, 54, later gave up acting to work in web design and now runs a social media agency.

She credits EastEnders as giving her “a fantastic foundation from which to build an incredible life”.

Lovable loser Lofty was jilted at the altar by Michelle Fowler (Susan Tully) in 1986, after she rejected his offer to be a father for Vicki – her lovechild with Den Watts (the late Leslie Grantham).

They did later wed but split when she aborted their own baby. Heartbroken Lofty left to become a social worker.

Since then, Tom has moved into sports journalism and regularly appears on radio.

He also ghostwrote David Beckham’s autobiography.

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