Dean Gaffney reveals why he needed to return to Albert Square

And promises fireworks for Robbie Jackson's comeback

Whenever Robbie Jackson appeared on EastEnders, we just wanted to put our arms around him and say, “Aaaaah.”

Who could forget the constant bad luck with women, or the way he doted on poor old Wellard?

So we were as thrilled as anyone to hear that the hapless character is returning to Walford later this year.

Though not as thrilled, it seems, as the man who plays him – Dean Gaffney.

Robbie as a teenager with his trusty dog Wellard. (Credit: BBC)

“It’s a privilege to be asked back, because at the end of the day acting is a hard business,” said the Londoner, 39, to the Radio Times at Saturday’s British Soap Awards.

“I’ve got children I need to put presents under the tree for. It’s a job I did from when I was 15, and I love it.

“And I need the money!”

Read more: Comeback of EastEnders favourite confirmed

It’s not yet clear exactly how bosses of the BBC soap are planning to reintroduce Robbie, who was last seen exiting Albert Square with his mum, Carol, in 2015.

But Dean promises that it won’t be a boring return.

“Robbie has come back with a vengeance,” he says. “I haven’t just come back to order pints in The Vic or cups of tea in the cafe. He’s straight back on the Square causing ructions with the market traders.”

Dean is currently dating model Rebekah Ward, 23. (Credit: Dean Gaffney/Instagram)

Dean Gaffney first played Robbie in 1993, and since then he’s rarely been out of the public eye.

In 2006, he was a contestant on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, and in 2013 he turned fundraiser for an appearance on Let’s Dance For Comic Relief.

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That same year, he suffered serious head injuries after being involved in a car accident in Derbyshire, and the father-of-two recently set tongues wagging when he started dating model Rebekah Ward, a woman 16 years his junior.

Rebekah is just two years older than Dean’s twin daughters. But Rebekah’s dad has said he approves of the relationship and he thinks Dean has “turned over a new leaf”.

The likelihood is we’ll be hearing a lot more about Mr Gaffney after Robbie makes his stunning return to Walford. Cue the duff duffs…

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