Eastenders fans are in for a huge treat later this year as a special flashback episode will see Peggy Mitchell, Ronnie, Roxie, Grant and Archie return to the long-running BBC soap.

Peggy Mitchell will once again take centre stage in Albert Square as the legendary character returns.

Jaime Winstone will play a young Peggy, the matriarch of the Mitchell family was a role inhabited by Dame Barbara Windsor, who joined the long-running soap in 1994 before becoming its biggest star.

Dame Barbara died in December 2020 aged 83 having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.

Hexham Courant: Ross Kemp, Dame Barbara Windsor and Steve McFadden played the Mitchells on EastEnders (BBC/PA)Ross Kemp, Dame Barbara Windsor and Steve McFadden played the Mitchells on EastEnders (BBC/PA)

Winstone, 37, the daughter of actor Ray Winstone and star of 2006 British film Kidulthood, portrayed the soap stalwart in the BBC biopic Babs in 2017, playing Dame Barbara in her 20s and 30s.

She will step into Peggy Mitchell’s shoes for the flashback scenes currently being filmed, and which will centre around the Mitchell family, with an autumn broadcast date, an EastEnders spokesperson said.

BBC Eastenders flashback episode details

The flashback episode will take viewers back to the winter of 1979 with the Mitchells “hit hard by a Britain in economic turmoil” and Peggy struggling to keep things afloat as her marriage to Eric is “showing its cracks”.

The storyline will also see son Phil and husband Eric “vying for the title of man of the house” while elsewhere Archie (who was played by Larry Lamb between 2008 and 2009), is “up to his usual tricks” as wife Glenda watches over their daughters Ronnie and Roxy.

Jaime Winstone says portraying Peggy Mitchell

Winstone said: “It’s been such an honour to step into Peggy Mitchell’s shoes for the first time, and into Barbara’s shoes for the second time. There’s certainly a healthy amount of pressure when you’re taking on such an iconic role – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“Playing this role has really cemented my love and admiration for Barbara as I got to bookend my journey by playing Peggy Mitchell – I hope I’ve done her justice and I’ve loved every minute of it, I can’t wait for everyone to see the episode.”

EastEnders said further details about the Mitchell special would be announced in due course.