Shirley’s Back! Linda Henry comes back to EastEnders after extended break

EastEnders fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of Shirley Carter, played by Linda Henry, who hasn’t appeared on the show for over a year. Shirley exited with a heartbreaking storyline in December 2022, when her husband Mick Carter, portrayed by Danny Dyer, ‘died’ while trying to save Shirley, Linda Carter, and Janine Butcher. Shirley decided to take a break from Walford, and Linda also took time off to facilitate her exit.

There were speculations among fans that Shirley would make an imminent return when Dean Wicks resurfaced in Walford last October and shared important news about her. However, Christmas came and went without her appearance, and as we approach the end of January, fans are still left wondering how Shirley will make her comeback.

During Dean’s return, he informed Linda that he had convinced Shirley that he didn’t rape her, leaving Linda horrified. Dean also revealed that Shirley had experienced a breakdown during her time away from the Square and was hurt that Linda hadn’t reached out to her since seeing a picture of Shirley and Dean together in February. Linda, uncertain about his claims, demanded an official diagnosis, but Dean evaded the question. When Linda attempted to contact Shirley, there was no response, adding to her concerns.

Chris Clenshaw, the soap’s executive producer, reassured fans that Linda would eventually return as Shirley. However, despite his statement, Linda has yet to reappear on the show.

Will Shirley make her comeback to Walford? Is she indeed unwell, and what consequences will Dean face when she discovers what he’s been telling Linda? While some believed Dean would meet his end on Christmas, it remains to be seen if his troubles have worsened.

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