EastEnders Janine’s lover Steve ‘exposed’ as fans work out return of iconic star

EastEnders fans have predicted that an iconic character could return to Albert Square, as Shirley Carter looks set to expose the identity of Janine Butcher's 'secret lover' Steve.

Shirley overheard Janine talking to a mystery man called Steve on the phone, just days before Janine is due to tie the knot to Shirley's son Mick.

She then heard Scarlett tell Janine that she was worried that Mick would discover her mum's lies, following the near-fatal car-crash that saw Mick's ex-wife Linda nearly end up in jail – even though it was Janine who caused the crash.

READ MORE: EastEnders Janine downfall 'sealed' – Haunted by Barry's ghost to Mick murder plot

With Shirley determined to expose Janine's lies, could she reveal the truth about the crash – and in the process potentially expose an affair between Janine and mystery man Steve in the process?

If Steve's identity is exposed, fans have predicted that an iconic character could return, with some viewers suggesting that Janine's mystery man could be Steve Owen.

Spandau Ballet icon Martin Kemp played Steve Owen between 1998 to 2002, with the E20 nightclub owner marrying Tamzin Outhwaite's Mel Healey.

However, he became embroiled in the Who Shot Phil Mitchell storyline, with Steve attempting to flee Albert Square with his and Lisa Shaw's daughter Louise – after Lisa was exposed as the culprit behind Phil's shooting.

Steve's plan failed though, after he was caught in a vehicle chase that saw the car expose and supposedly kill the character, with his funeral airing on-screen later that year.

Anything can happen in soap land however, and if Steve did survive the crash after all, could he make a dramatic return to Albert Square?

Viewers seem to think so, with many flocking to a fan forum to suggest that he could be Janine's mystery lover.

"Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet?" said one fan, while a second added: "To Cut A Long Story Short he's Steve Owen, Hunter's dad and Mel's husband."

A third gave a tongue-in-cheek agreement by quoting a famous Spandau Ballet song, saying: "That much is true."

Meanwhile, a fourth suggested: "Steve Owen or Steve McDonald," in a nod to the Children In Need First Dates special where Janine met Coronation Street's Steve McDonald.

Fans also predicted that another iconic character could return to the square – Steven Beale.

"Steven Beale maybe? He went to New Zealand I think," suggested a fifth viewer.

However, Steven was supposedly killed on-screen by Max Branning, which would make his return to the square a surprising plot twist if he were to be exposed as Janine's lover.

Steve's identity is certainly proving to be a puzzle for many viewers, with fans flocking to social media following recent episodes to ask who he is.

While some think he might be Janine's wedding planner, others have said they cannot work out who he is, which will make the truth even more interesting when it is exposed.

One fan said: "Lol Steve is their wedding planner," while a second agreed, adding: "I think Steve is Janine's wedding dress designer."

"Steve has to be the designer of Janine's wedding dress," added a third.

Meanwhile, a fourth commented: "Actually excited to see who Janine's Steve is. I can't predict who it is at all. It's so good but I'm scared."

Eastenders airs Monday to Thursday on BBC One at 7.30pm

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