It's the return we have all been waiting for! EastEnders legend to make shock comeback after 19 years

The Queen Victoria pub in EastEnders
There is a familiar face returning to Walford. (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders has finally confirmed that Tracy Ann Oberman will make her long-awaited Walford comeback as the legendary Chrissie Watts this autumn. 

Chrissie has always been a huge favourite with EastEnders fans and it has been almost 20 years since she was on our screens, with her last appearance airing on December 9, 2005, when she was sent to prison for Den Watts’ murder. 

Long-time fans of the soap will remember that Chrissie, Sam Mitchell and Zoe Slater famously buried Den's body under the floor of the barrel store in the Vic, where he stayed for months while Chrissie acted like nothing had happened to Den's daughter Sharon Watts and his son Dennis Rickman. 

Tracy Ann Oberman as Chrissie Watts in EastEnders

She's back! It's been nearly 20 years since we saw Chrissie Watts in Walford.  (Image credit: BBC)

However, things took an even darker turn when Sam drunkenly dug up Den's body on the day of Sharon and Dennis's wedding... something that then led to her initially being held responsible for the murder.

But soon the tables turned and the truth came out that Chrissie was the real killer, and she has been in jail ever since.

Although Chrissie only lived in Walford for just over a year-and-a-half during her last stint, she managed to find the time to make a whole host of enemies including Kat Slater and Sharon Watts, who both still live in Walford. 

So what will they make of seeing her back on their turf?

Tracy Ann Oberman as Chrissie Watts in EastEnders

What brings Chrissie back to Walford?  (Image credit: BBC)

Tracy-Ann Oberman said of her long-awaited return to EastEnders: “Chrissie Watts was such a great character to play - a victim or a villain. She is a real fan favourite so, when Chris Clenshaw asked me to come back and re-visit her and see what has happened in the last 19 years, I jumped at the chance. The scripts are fantastic and I hope the viewers enjoy her as much as I am enjoying playing her again.”

Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer added: “I’m delighted to welcome the immensely talented Tracy-Ann back to the iconic role of Chrissie Watts. Although the character hasn’t been seen on screen for almost twenty years, Chrissie is cemented in EastEnders’ rich history for her murder of Walford’s most infamous villain, and Sharon’s beloved father, Dirty Den. 

"I’m keeping tight-lipped on the exact circumstances relating to her return for the time being, but what I can promise is that it’s never quiet when Chrissie Watts is around.”

EastEnders airs on BBC One Monday - Thursday. See our TV Guide for the latest listings. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.