John Altman reprises his role as EastEnders villain Nick

Notorious EastEnders villain Nick Cotton is returning to the soap.

This Christmas will see Nick – played by actor John Altman – show up on his old stomping ground.

“After an absence of 7 years I am thrilled to return Albert Square, the BBC have always given me great storylines as Nick Cotton and I look forward to seeing if Nick will once again spread fear and loathing throughout the Square!” – John Altman

Fresh from a stint in prison what prompts Nick’s return to Walford? How long will he be around for on this occasion? Is he reformed or will the phrase ‘a leopard never changes its spot’ hold true? How will Dot react to seeing her son again?

The beeb is giving nothing away, noting only that ‘all will be revealed as the story airs’.

“Nick Cotton is an EastEnders legend. His complex relationship with Dot, his criminal tendencies, and his addiction to heroin, violence, and everything else that’s bad have made him one of the show’s best-remembered and best-loved villains. We’re very excited that he – and the talented John Altman who plays him – will be returning to the Square.” – Diederick Santer, Executive Producer

Nick has recurred in EastEnders since the show’s first episode in 1985 with plots centring around murder and drugs.

The character was originally a last minute addition to the soap’s original cast as its creators Julia Smith & Tony Holland felt the show was missing an unscrupulous villain who would eventually be unmasked as the person responsible for the death of Reg Cox.

Nick on trial for the murder of Eddie Royle in a 1993-aired episode of EastEnders.