Michael French return to EastEnders confirmed

'EastEnders' bosses have confirmed Michael French will reprise his role as bad boy lothario David Wicks in September

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Michael French

Michael French

'EastEnders' bosses have confirmed Michael French will return to the show.

The 50-year-old actor - who departed Albert Square 17 years ago - will reprise his role as bad boy lothario David Wicks in September following his brief two-week stint last year when his on-screen mother Pat Evans (Pam St. Clement) was dying of cancer.

Lorraine Newman, 'EastEnders' Executive Producer, said: "It's an absolute honour to have Michael back in the show. Michael created an iconic character in David and with such rich history, with Ian, Bianca and of course, Carol, there's plenty to explore in the future."

Following his departure, David has been trying to get in touch with his former flame Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson), but her interfering brother Derek Branning (Jamie Foreman) stole the letters, and it wasn't until her vicious sibling died last year that Carol realised what had happened.

The confirmation of Michael's return comes after the soap failed to bring in more than five million viewers on Tuesday night (23.07.13) following the royal baby announcement on ITV, which pushed 'Emmerdale' back to 7:30pm meaning the two shows went head-to-head.

However, bosses of the BBC One programme are confident their autumn and winter storylines - which will see Samantha Womack return as Ronnie Mitchell and Barbara Windsor make a one-off appearance as Peggy Mitchell - will bring back old viewers and win over some new ones.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "All the soaps are struggling at the moment.

"We got seven million on Monday. We're not worried, there are some huge storylines planned for the autumn.

"Good storylines take months to plan, we're fully expecting the soap to recover. There are always peaks and troughs."

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