It has been revealed that EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt broke down in tears when he found out his onscreen mum, played by Gillian Taylforth, was to return to the soap.

Soap bosses managed to keep Kathy Beale's return to the show a secret until it was revealed live during Thursday's episode.

Now, executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has revealed that actor Adam Woodyatt balled his eyes out when he heard the news of Gillian Taylforth's return to the show.

Speaking to The Mirror, Treadwell-Collins confirmed that Woodyatt was told of Taylforth's return before Christmas.

He said: "I told him, 'Look, we're bringing someone back' 

"He looked at me and he went, 'Not my mum?'

"He broke, and he started sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. He looked at me and said, 'Really? That's all I ever wanted, all I ever wanted is for my mum to come back'."

Kathy's return to EastEnders marks the end of a fifteen-year absence from the soap for Taylforth, whose character was 'killed' off-screen in a car crash in 2006. 

Although EastEnders promise that scriptwriters have come up with a "credible and real and proper" storyline behind her return, Taylforth admits that she has been left clueless as to what that is.

"I've got no idea whatsoever," she said. "I hope I come back strong because I've been through an awful lot – death, everything."

EastEnders continues on BBC One and RTÉ One on Monday February 23 at 8pm.