Actor Nitin Ganatra has said he is "somewhat over-bloody-whelmed" at EastEnders fans' reaction to the news that he is reprising his role as Masood in the BBC soap.
The unlucky-in-love postman will return to Albert Square later this year in a new storyline which sees Masood joined in Walford by his extended family. Casting is currently underway for the family roles.
Ganatra left EastEnders in November 2016 after nine years on the show. Viewers saw Masood leaving East London with son Kamil for a new life in Pakistan - and a reunion with ex-wife Zainab.
In a statement announcing Masood's return, the actor said: "It was a lovely surprise to be asked back to EastEnders so soon after I left. In fact, I was bowled over."
"When I was told Masood has still much to give to the show and is missed by the audience, it was hard to refuse," Ganatra continued.
"It is with great pride that I will grow my Masood goatee once again to help create and base an extended family around him. Exciting days to come in Walford with Masood back on the Square."
Writing on Twitter, Ganatra told fans he would not be onscreen "for a while yet".
"I am somewhat over-bloody-whelmed for the love being shown for Masood for his return," he said, sending thanks and "love" to the E20 faithful.