Soap stars who came back from the dead as Corrie fave makes shock return – including Hollyoaks lad who escaped inferno

In soapland, anything is possible – even coming back from the dead. 

This week Coronation Street fans were in tears as Sinead Tinker made an emotional return. 

Sinead, played by Strictly star Katie McGlynn, died in October 2019, from cervical cancer. 

She reappeared in a video message encouraging her husband, Daniel Osbourne, to find love again. 

But Sinead isn’t the only soap star to 'come back to life'. Those of us old enough to remember 80s drama Dallas will recall Bobby Ewing being killed off, only for it all to be a dream. 

Here we take a look at other characters who got a second chance. 


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Dirty Den Watts – EastEnders

He was the ultimate soap villain – so no wonder EastEnders bosses couldn’t bear to bury him. 

Dirty Den, played by the late Leslie Grantham, was first killed off in 1989 when criminal gang, The Firm, shot him with a gun hidden in a bunch of daffodils and he fell into a canal.

His daughter Sharon (Letitia Dean) identified his body, but she clearly didn’t do a very thorough job, as Den returned four years later, having escaped to Spain. 

He was eventually bumped off (well and truly) by his wife Chrissie Watts on the soap’s 20th anniversary in 2005, watched by 17 million viewers. 

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Kathy Beale – EastEnders

Kathy Beale was presumed dead for 15 years before making her shock return, aboveCredit: PA:Press Association

Kathy Beale, played by Gillian Taylforth, has been in EastEnders since the very first episode in 1985. 

Kathy, mum to Ian and Ben, was said to have died off screen while living in South Africa in 2006. 

But the Albert Square lot love an anniversary surprise, and Kathy gave them all a big one on the 30th, when she revealed she had faked her own death in a storyline that mirrored the famous real life tale of “canoe man” John Darwin and his insurance scam.  

She didn’t tell her family she was returning, saying at the time: "It's been very hard keeping it a secret, especially from my children."

Kat Slater – EastEnders

This Kat might well have nine lives – she’s certainly had two already. 

Like Kathy, Kat – played by Jessie Wallace – died offscreen, abroad. In fact, viewers who watched spin-off show Redwater saw Kat being dragged unconscious out of the sea, after falling from a boat and hitting the propeller. 

Big Mo (Laila Rouass) broke the sad news to the Square and arranged a memorial gathering, charging mourners £10 a head. 

Only who should show up at the wake? Yes, you’ve got it. It turned out Big Mo had made it all up to raise money and get herself out of financial trouble.

In classic EastEnders style, Kat’s return ended in a bar fight in the Queen Vic. 

Warren Fox – Hollyoaks

It didn’t look good for Hollyoaks bad boy Warren when he was tied up in a burning nightclub. 

Things seemed even more hopeless when, after managing to free himself, he jumped into the cellar, broke his ankle AND appeared to be crushed by a falling mirror.

Yet somehow he managed to escape. 

Warren – played by Jamie Lomas – returned to the Chester soap a year later.

A flashback episode revealed the mirror had missed him. He stabbed Dale Greer to death before changing into his clothes and dumping the body.

Jamie, 47, said at the time: "I was a bit worried at first, wondering whether it was going to be believable, but the story that they've come up with is fantastic and it's something that I'm really proud I could be a part of."

Kim Tate – Emmerdale

She was always a conniving so-and-so, but it takes some gall to fake your death not just once, but twice. 

In 1997, Kim (played by Claire King) hired a lookalike sex worker to drive around Emmerdale while she was on holiday in the Caribbean. The plan was for the lookalike to drive Kim’s car off a quarry, escaping just in time and pretending to be dead. 

But the woman got stuck in the car and drowned.

Months later Kim returned, giving her husband Frank such a shock he died of a heart attack.

Then, last year, she hatched a plot to get revenge on her son, Jamie, for attempting to poison her.

She was seen being taken away by an ambulance before stepping out and revealing: “I'm going to watch him celebrate my 'death', and then I'm going to come back, and I'm going to destroy him.”

Harold Bishop

It was a sad time in Ramsay Street when lovable Harold Bishop was swept out to sea in 1991, leaving only his glasses behind. 

Five years later though, Harold – played by Ian Smith – returned to Neighbours, as a Salvation Army volunteer. 

Trouble was, he was suffering from amnesia and calling himself Ted. 

As far as bonkers storylines go, it was up there with Bouncer the dog’s dream.

Harold remained on the Aussie soap until 2015 and will return for the final farewell ahead of it being axed.

Ian said of his character: “He's a silly old fart but there's something in Harold that everyone likes.”

Mercedes McQueen

Hollyoaks' favourite Mercedes McQueen (played by Jennifer Metcalfe) was stabbed repeatedly in November 2014.

Viewers saw what they presumed was her lifeless corpse being dragged out of her house.

But the following February, she was seen living the high life on the French Riviera.

It turned out that after she was stabbed by gangster Grace Black, she agreed to help Grace frame Freddie Roscoe for her murder.

After the episode aired, Jennifer, 38, tweeted: "It's good to be back."

Pat Phelan

Coronation Street's dodgy builder Pat was voted Best Soap Villain in 2018 – but that didn't stop him from meeting a grisly end. Or did it?

Pat, played by Connor McIntyre, was seen falling off the edge of a cliff on Good Friday that same year.

He had confessed to his wife Eileen that he had murdered four people, after which she dangled the keys to his getaway boat over the edge.

Pat slipped and was left dangling over the edge – and Eileen stamped on his fingertips, causing him to plummet.

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A couple of episodes later, he had his own resurrection when he was seen alive and well and trying to stitch his wounds in a B&B.

In June, he was finished off for good when Anna Windass stabbed her nemesis to death.

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