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Is Peter Beale returning to EastEnders?

Is Steven's relationship with Lauren really made to last?

EastEnders Lauren Branning is plotting to leave boyfriend Steven Beale – and, it seems, Walford, next week.

But as she decides it’s time to head off back to New Zealand to be with old flame Peter Beale, could we be seeing a shock return to the show for Ian’s son?

Steven has been going quickly crazy as he knows Lauren doesn’t love him anymore, but is desperate to change her mind and keep her by his side.

Lauren was grateful for the GIANT phone charger (Credit: BBC)

So he’s decided the best way to do that is to stalk her. Great. Nice one.

Last night, he went really quite crazy after watching her on his secret video cam confess to Josh that although she wasn’t willing to cheat with him, things weren’t right with Steven.

A match made in hell (Credit: BBC)

Of course, we all know Steven’s been sleeping with Abi as an act of revenge/comfort/two psychos together, so he’s not best pleased to find out Lauren hasn’t actually been playing away with her boss as he believed.

Anyway, Lauren so far doesn’t know any of this, but she does know she’s fed up so she makes a shocking decision – she announces she wants to get back with her ex-boyfriend Peter Beale who is in New Zealand. Well that’s a turn of events!

Only thing is, she doesn’t actually tell Steven… that’s not the best way of dealing with things, Lauren.

No matter how hard he tries, Steven can’t keep hold of girlfriend Lauren (Credit: BBC)

In fairness, she does try to end it with him, but when he presents her with flowers and is lovely to her, she can’t bring herself to confess.

She ends up confiding in dad, Max, and that’s when she comes to the decision she’s leaving for New Zealand – and Peter.

Lauren confides her feelings to her dad (Credit: BBC)

As Lauren says a secret goodbye to her family, will Abi spill the beans to thwart her plans?

Or will she let her sister go so she can have what she wants – Steven to herself? Although perhaps she doesn’t want him now she knows Lauren no longer does either…

All of the family are on Lauren’s side apart from her scheming sister Abi (Credit: BBC)

Read more: EastEnders accused of ‘going too far’ with latest storyline

As Steven faces a race against time to keep Lauren by his side, will she end up staying in Walford after all?

And if she does, we reckon Abi won’t be all that pleased and will come up with another plan to get back at her sister. Could inviting Peter back into Lauren’s life leave Steven for Abi to have all to herself?

The last we heard of Peter he was in a bit of a mess, but if Lauren’s thinking of going back to him, it shows those feelings have never truly gone away. So what better time for him to pitch up on the Square than right now?

It’s not very often a departed character is referred to on-screen unless we’re expecting to see them again sometime soon, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was paving the way for Peter’s return…

It would probably have to mean a recast though, as his former alter ego Ben Hardy has done pretty well for himself after quitting as Peter.

And now it looks like he’s cementing his success with a major role in another Hollywood movie.

Ben Hardy played Peter Beale for two years (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Ben Hardy to make a dramatic return to TV

He’s set to take on the role of Queen drummer Roger Taylor in the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic.

A source told The Sun: “Ben caught the eye of producers and he has worked with director Bryan Singer on X-Men.

“After a couple of screen tests, bosses decided he was the perfect man for the job and signed him up. He’s very excited.

“But he’s got plenty of work to do before filming starts – he’s even started taking drumming lessons to get up to scratch.”

Ben played Angel in the X-Men: Apocalypse movie (Credit: X: Men Apocalypse)

Ben got his big break in X-Men: Apocalypse starring as Angel, a mutant with bird-like feathered wings. For that role, Ben had to do plenty of indoor skydiving in preparation, so he’s definitely one committed performer.

Ben starred in EastEnders as Ian Beale’s son for two years. His biggest storyline was when his twin sister, Lucy Beale, was murdered and Peter was one of the prime suspects.

Lauren was with Peter, but now she’s with his half-brother Steven – confusing? Not for Soapland! (Credit: BBC)

When he discovered it had in fact been his little brother Bobby Beale who had accidentally killed Lucy, and stepmum Jane Beale covered it up, Peter couldn’t live with the guilt of covering up for Bobby and left for New Zealand with girlfriend Lauren and their unborn baby.

Lauren has since returned with Peter’s half-brother, Steven Beale, and baby Louie, and it’s been revealed Peter’s gone off the rails in NZ.