Reports of legendary Walford villain Nick Cotton's demise have been greatly exaggerated, and now fans are set to see actor John Altman and new EastEnders cast member Pauline McLynn sharing the screen together.

Viewers had been led to believe that Nick had died from a heroin overdose, but on Monday night's episode Carol (Lindsey Coulson) heard his voice on son Charlie's (Declan Bennett) phone.

Actor Altman said of his upcoming Albert Square return: "I'm very pleased and much looking forward to coming back to ­EastEnders.

"With the promise of some hard hitting and gritty storylines, I'm sure residents of Albert Square will be none too pleased to see Nick Cotton back."

He added: "I'm also looking forward to working alongside Declan Bennett and Pauline McLynn (who will play Charlie's mother, Yvonne). And of course being reunited and working once again with my 'dear old Ma', the wonderful June Brown (Dot)."