EastEnders' Dirty Den has made a comeback to the soap after an absence of 14 years.
Den was last seen in Albert Square in 1989
Millions of fans watched as the character reappeared in the closing moments of Monday's show on BBC One.
Den, played by Leslie Grantham, walked into Angie's Den nightclub off Albert Square, and said to stunned daughter Sharon: "Hello, princess."
The latest plot twist came as EastEnders scooped eight prizes at the Inside Soap awards, including four for actor Shane Richie, who plays Alfie Moon
Grantham originally left the soap when his character - Queen Vic landlord Den Watts - was apparently shot dead in February 1989.
He was targeted by a gangland hitman using a gun hidden in a bunch of daffodils.
It was thought he had gone to a watery grave in Walford's canal, but writers had carved him out a new life in Spain.
Den's return was part of a plan by scriptwriters to fight back against the continued success of Coronation Street.
Actor Ritchie said of his wins at the Inside Soap awards: "I'm pleased that the readers of Inside Soap have taken Alfie and the whole
Moon family to their hearts.
"Working for EastEnders is just getting better and better and Leslie coming
back has created a real buzz to the show - it feels like playing for England
just before they win the World Cup."
In accepting his award on Monday night, Richie said his character and Den were set to clash in the New Year.
"Den wants the pub back and you can imagine what Alfie's reaction is, he
ain't going anywhere," he said.
Meanwhile, former EastEnders hardman Grant Mitchell has been voted the soap character most viewers want to see back on their screens.
Mitchell, played by Ross Kemp, was picked by one in five soap fans asked who they would most like to see make a comeback.
Asked for their favourite soap comeback, almost one third of viewers picked Sharon Watts' return to EastEnders as the new joint landlady of the Queen Vic.