EastEnders offers first look at Bernie Taylor’s return as she goes into labour

She left Walford last autumn.

EastEnders has unveiled three first-look images of Bernie Taylor’s dramatic return to Walford.

Gone since October, the heavily pregnant character played by Clair Norris faces the reality of handing over her baby to Stuart (Ricky Champ) and Rainie Highway (Tanya Franks) after agreeing to a surrogacy deal with the couple.

As Bernie goes through the ins and outs of the situation next Tuesday (March 29), she’s gobsmacked to discover that they’ve hidden Stuart’s breast cancer diagnosis from her; fury quickly turns into shock, though, when her waters break.

Back when she first took a break from the soap, Norris herself caught up with to discuss the storyline.

“I think that Bernie is overwhelmed with everything and definitely needs some time away to clear her head. She needs a break,” she said.

“I think it will do her good to get away and take care of herself and the baby for a bit. That’s her number one priority.

“We know Bernie will be returning to Walford, but who knows what she will be coming back to? She knows how much this is going to hurt Stuart and Rainie, but Bernie is determined to put the baby first.”

Bernie’s decision to skip town was influenced by her suspicions over Rainie, who has a history with drug use.

Despite the mother-in-waiting testing negative in a drugs test, Bernie believed that something still felt dodgy – subsequently heading off without a word and devastating Rainie in the process.

Elsewhere in the Highway clan, Stuart’s nan Vi (Gwen Taylor) will soon reappear.