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EastEnders spoilers: 6 massive storylines to keep you hooked this autumn

The Albert Square sign on the set of EastEnders
(Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders is getting ready for an autumn that's full of drama and tension and frankly, we can't wait!

Here's our round-up of what's happening in EastEnders in the coming weeks....

Meet the Panesars' dad

We've heard lots of talk about Suki Panesar's husband — and father to her four children — Nish Panesar.

And now we're finally going to meet him!

Nish, who is played by Navin Chowdhry, is currently behind bars, where he's been serving a 20-year sentence. But he's on his way back to the Square!

Nish is charming and charismatic, but he also has an icy-cold determination to be welcomed back into his family.

With Suki currently struggling with what happened to Ranveer, and being horribly manipulated by Ravi, and Kheerat trying to establish himself as head of the family, will his family be as welcoming as he hopes? And what will he do if they're not?  

Navin Chowdhry as Nish Panesar in EastEnders.

Nish will arrive in the Square and immediately cause problems with the Panesar family. (Image credit: BBC)

Ricky Butcher's back

Ricky Butcher's not been seen on the Square for more than a decade, though we know he's been happily living in Germany with son Liam — and now with daughter Tiffany and her husband Keegan, too.

But now he's back!

This time it's not the Jackson/Branning family Ricky's involved with, but instead the drama revolves around his own family — and sister Janine in particular.

We know Janine's been up to no good, setting up Linda to take the blame for her car accident, and generally making herself a nuisance.

Can Ricky help her untangle the mess she's in?

And more importantly, what will happen when Ricky comes face to face with his ex-wife, Sam Mitchell? 

Sid Owen as Ricky Butcher

Ricky's back! But what's he up to? (Image credit: BBC)

Fond farewell

With the sad death of EastEnders icon June Brown, who played Dot Branning, it was inevitable that eventually her alter-ego would be honoured on screen, too.

And so this autumn, Dot's friends and family will gather to raise a small sherry as they bid a fond farewell to the Square's favourite launderette assistant (sorry, Karen).

In what producer Chris Clenshaw calls a "fitting tribute" Walford residents will say goodbye to their friend.

And we're wondering if that means any faces from the past will return, too? Could Charlie Cotton come back from Ireland with little Matthew in tow?

How about lovely Nigel? Or any more of the Brannings — Max, Tanya, Carol, Robbie, Bianca? 

We can't wait to see how Dot will be honoured.  

June Brown as Dot Cotton

EastEnders will say goodbye to Dot Branning this autumn. (Image credit: BBC)

Alfie's got his eyes on the prize

And the prize is Kat Slater.

Again.

Alfie Moon's back hoping to win the heart of his ex-wife Kat, but it's not plain sailing (what is, in Walford?).

Shane Richie, who plays cheeky Mr Moon, says he's happy to provide the "light relief" as the drama elsewhere steps up this autumn.

So expect Alfie's trademark banter, some verbal sparring with love rival Phil... and do we hear rumours of a romance with Linda? Or is that just another of Alfie's jokes? Time will tell! 

Shane Richie has played Walford's Alfie Moon for 20 years!

Alfie Moon's rising this autumn. (Image credit: BBC)

A blast from the past for Sam

Sam Mitchell walked back into the Square earlier this year, in her sky-high heels and skinny jeans, and it was like she'd never been away.

Since then, Sam's caused all sorts of trouble trying to prove herself to big brother Phil. Not to mention her dalliance with Zak.

And now there's more trouble in store - and we don't just mean the return of her ex-husband Ricky.

According to EastEnders executive producer Chris Clenshaw, there's another blast from the past about to land in Sam's life.

We know Sam's been living in Spain for the last few years, but other than bits and pieces about her life on the Costa, we don't know much. 

Could this new arrival be the missing piece of the jigsaw?

Sam Mitchell

Sam's past catches up with her this autumn.  (Image credit: BBC)

Janine and Mick — together forever or torn apart?

Here's what we know. We know Janine Butcher is keeping a big old lie from Mick Carter — that she set up Linda to take the blame for the car accident.

We know that there's an incriminating photo on the noticeboard in the Vic, showing Janine getting rid of her clothes.

We know that Mick's trying so hard to build a life with Janine, but we know the bond between him and ex-wife Linda is strong. Very strong.

We also know that Janine's bumped off two husbands - Barry and Michael - and as Judith Bernstein watched another hubby - David - die on their wedding day. 

And we know that Danny Dyer, who plays Mick, is leaving Walford at the end of the year and that Janine is pregnant. 

Hmm. Sounds like a whole lot of trouble to us. Is Mick about to become one of Janine's victims?! 

EastEnders Mick and Janine

Janine's got everything she ever wanted - a good man, and ownership of the Queen Vic. But is it about to come crashing down?  (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders airs every day from Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One. 

Kerry Barrett
Freelance writer

Kerry is a writer, author and editor with a lifelong love of the soaps, a passion for TV drama of all kinds, and an obsessive devotion to Strictly Come Dancing. 

She was features editor of All About Soap magazine for more than a decade, covering every bit of excitement from all the UK soaps and the Aussies and still writes about all the juiciest gossip from the Street, the Square and the Dales whenever she can.

Kerry’s also an author of historical fiction, and her two jobs collided when she got the chance to write two novels based on Emmerdale, and the Sugden, Tate and Dingle families, during WW2.