Ross Kemp
Ross Kemp makes a return to Walford as Grant Mitchell on EastEnders Martin McNeil/Getty Images

The Mitchell brothers are to be reunited as Grant Mitchell makes a return to Walford. Ross Kemp, who played the iconic hard man, is to reprise his role as he rejoins the soap for a Mitchell family reunion.

Kemp made his first appearance as Grant Mitchell in 1990 when he arrived in Albert Square alongside his onscreen brother, Phil, played by Steve McFadden. The two became a huge hit with viewers, creating a TV pairing that put the Mitchells at the heart of EastEnders. With Barbara Windsor arriving a few years later, the Mitchells quickly became one of the most iconic families on British TV.

I am really looking forward to going back to EastEnders and filming what are set to be some classic EastEnders episodes.
- Ross Kemp

Kemp's brief return will coincide with Windsor's final ever episodes as Peggy. With Sharon, his ex-wife, who is currently married to his brother and Kathy, his brother's ex-wife who Grant slept with, all not living in Albert Square, the stage is set for an explosive reunion of the Mitchell clan.

Speaking of his brief return to EastEnders, Kemp said: "When I was approached about returning to EastEnders for Barbara's final episodes, it was something I could not turn down. Barbara is a very close friend so when I learned of the storyline, it felt right that the Mitchell brothers are reunited with their mother for the last time. I am really looking forward to going back to EastEnders and filming what are set to be some classic EastEnders episodes."

In February 2015, Kemp admitted that he would consider a return to Walford if the storyline was right. In an interview with Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2, the 50-year-old star claimed it was all about timing. "I've got no problem going back," he said. "It was 10 years of my life. Some of it was happy, some of it wasn't so happy, but I enjoyed most of it or wouldn't have stayed that long. If an opportunity comes up and it's at the right time, I definitely don't see why not."

Dominic Treadwell-Collins, executive producer of the show, added: "Ross Kemp is top of every EastEnders fan's return wish list. And being an EastEnders fan myself, he has been at the top of mine. Grant Mitchell is an EastEnders legend and finally he is returning home to Walford to say goodbye to his mother and be reunited not just with his old loves but also his brother.

"To have the Mitchell brothers come face to face again, having to face losing their mother, is an opportunity to show Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden at their very best. We are all so excited finally to have Ross back on the Square - and to have Ross Kemp, Barbara Windsor, Steve McFadden, Letitia Dean and Gillian Taylforth all on screen together at the same time as Peggy makes an exit like no other, this promises to be something very special."

Since leaving EastEnders, Kemp has made a name for himself in documentaries, travelling to some of the most dangerous parts of the globe in Sky 1's Extreme World and Ross Kemp on Gangs.