Jack (played by Scott Maslen) has had his fair share of tragedy on EastEnders, and just as things start to look up a shady Ray (Sean Mahon) suddenly appears in Walford.
Looking for Mel (Tamzin Outhwaite) and his former step-son Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter), Ray isn’t afraid to make his presence known to the locals.
New stills from upcoming episodes of the BBC soap show the newcomer facing off with his new love rival Jack.
One of the images shows Jack tentatively shaking hands with Ray, but it’s clear he’s holding back his true feelings.
Unfazed, Ray appears keen to make his intentions known to Jack, and could be hiding a chequered past.
But what will Ray’s sudden arrival mean for Jack and Mel’s budding relationship, and will the mother-of-one choose to go back to her ex?
Long-time EastEnders viewers will remember when Mel last left the Square she was pregnant with Steve Owen’s (Martin Kemp) baby, who turned out to be Hunter.
In devastating scenes that saw Steve burned to death, Mel went out of the soap with a bang and has maintained a low profile since she returned to her old home with her 15-year-old son in tow.
But will the return of Ray rattle some skeletons in Mel’s closet, or will the character turn out to be a very bad man the blonde was trying to get away from?
Bosses have already described Ray as an “expert liar”, and Mel needs to beware of his arrival threatening relationships with her nearest and dearest.
What’s more, viewers have already been introduced to Ray’s sister and gangster Aidan Maguire’s ex-wife Ciara (Denise McCormack), whose dodgy dealings suggest a complex past for the Kelly family.
Ray’s arrival will come as a result of contact with his step-son, and it will be revealed the pair have been in secret contact for weeks already.
Speaking ahead of his new role on the popular London soap, actor Sean was keen to share his excitement to be joining the cast.
“I remember watching the very first episode of EastEnders back in 1985,” he shared. “Little did I think I would be roaming the streets of Walford and hanging out at The Queen Vic all these years later.
“I’m so happy to join such an incredibly hard-working and talented team and I’m very much looking forward to playing out the drama that inevitably ensues on any given day in Albert Square.”
The star went on to tease his character’s initial plans, and they are sure to rock the lives of fellow residents.
He continued: “Ray Kelly is not one to tread lightly and his arrival to the Square will cause shockwaves for many of the residents.
“It doesn’t get much better than that.”