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  EastEnders legend Dirty Den to return
Updated 03 May 2003, 10.06
Den (left) with wife Angie and daughter Sharon
Den (left) with wife Angie and daughter Sharon

One of the most famous characters in UK TV, EastEnders bad boy Dirty Den, is returning to the soap 14 years after his last appearance.

But the show's writers have got a lot of explaining to do to bring him back, because he's supposed to be dead!

In his final scene Den, who was in trouble with local gangsters, appeared to have been shot and killed.

Den and wife Angie pulled in millions of fans
Den and wife Angie pulled in millions of fans
But the soap didn't show the bullet strike Den - full name Dennis Watts - and even though a body was found and buried a year later, it now seems it wasn't him.

Even though Den hasn't been on the show for years, there are three of his kids in the square:

  • Vicki Fowler, who is Den's daughter
  • Sharon Watts, who Den and wife Angie adopted
  • Dennis Rickman, recently revealed as a son no-one knew existed

The actor who plays Dirty Den - Leslie Grantham - will start working on the show next month, although he won't be on screen until September.

Actor Leslie Grantham plays the star
Actor Leslie Grantham plays the star
Den was one of the first characters seen on the soap when it started back in 1985, when he was the landlord of the Queen Vic pub.

His most famous moment was on the Christmas Day episode a year later, when 30m fans watched him give wife Angie divorce papers as a present.

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