EastEnders fans were in shock this week as Phil Mitchell returned from the dead in shock.
The Hardman isn’t the first Soapland native to return from a visit to the afterlife.
But who else has made a shock comeback after their death?
Dirty Cave – EastEnders
It is the most famous resurrection since Jesus – at least in soap country.
In 1989, EastEnders viewers were shocked when a hitman with daffodils shot at Dirty Den, presumably killing him.
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He disappeared down a canal, presumed dead — at least for a while, until he turned up in Walford in 2003, having actually survived and moved to Spain.
Den lasted two years before being killed again – this time for good.
But his comeback remains the stuff of the soap legend.
While Kim Tate’s first death was technically meant to be permanent, bosses quickly made a U-turn after seeing the status of her ratings following her death in a car accident.
Actress Claire King landed a super deal for her return, and so Kim’s death became an elaborate hoax with a handy blonde corpse coming in handy.
Kim returned just in time to kill her husband Frank before cheating on the family finances and claiming the Tate inheritance for herself.
Kathy Beale- EastEnders
While it’s true in soaps that if you don’t see a body, the character isn’t dead — literally no one saw Kathy Beale’s comeback coming.
After Kathy was killed off-screen in South Africa by a presumably disgruntled producer, her time at Walford seemed to be over.
Until she got out of a cab during a live EastEnders broadcast and asked her ex Phil Mitchell for help.
It was a shocking scene in a massive week of EastEnders episodes – and it has since paid off.
Now she’s settled down as the matriarch of the Beale family and her son – who looks bizarrely older than her – is gone and that’s all the better for it.
Now the soap just has to do the same for Ronnie and Roxy.
Kim Tate (again)
If a plan to fake your own death worked well once, why not try it again?
This time, Kim threw herself into proceedings by playing her own dead body with a whole cast of actors playing fake cops, paramedics, and even handy witnesses.
All so that she could uncover her son Jamie’s plot to kill her.
But what she actually did – was give him an idea of how to escape her claws once and for all.
Like mother, like son – but Jamie accomplished a feat even his mother couldn’t – he stayed “dead”.
While viewers know that Jamie is alive and well, having successfully convinced himself great schemer Kim Tate that he is dead and probably not buried, he is actually sunning himself with his daughter abroad.
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And Kim has no idea.
She’s so convinced he’s dead that she ignores all evidence that he’s still alive – setting the stage for a hell of a comeback in the future.
Want more EastEnders spoilers? Entertainment Daily has a dedicated EastEnders spoilers section where you can find your fix before the latest episodes air.
EastEnders normally airs weekdays at 19:30 on BBC One.
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