EastEnders could be cooking up the mother of all twists, with a number of clues hinting that Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) could be Anna and Gina Knight’s (Molly Rainford and Francesca Henry) mum.

Cindy is set to stage an almighty comeback later this year with ex-husband Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) in tow, news which came as a huge surprise to audiences given that the character is dead.

The barmaid was famously killed off during the mid-nineties when she was incarcerated for trying to murder Ian, dying in childbirth after welcoming a daughter, also named Cindy.

Confirmation of the legendary character’s return naturally posed a number questions, such as how she can come back given her status as deceased. EastEnders has a successful track record of resuscitating formerly dead residents, so we reckon this shouldn’t be too difficult for them to do again, with a believable retcon or re-write employed to do the trick.

The more interesting question at play here is why is Cindy being brought back after all of this time? Despite her iconic status, we’ll admit that it was hard to think of an answer to that question at first, because there really isn’t much left for Cindy in Walford, given that two of her four children are dead, with the other two no longer in London.

Resurrecting the devilish character would’ve arguably made more sense a decade ago, when children Lucy and Stephen Beale were still alive. Bringing her back now, when she’s missed the entire duration of their lives, may seem to some a little odd.

What’s more, there are only a handful of characters that would remember Cindy, two of which were very young when she was killed off, so they’d be wholly unfamiliar with her. Kathy and Sharon, of course, would remember her well, but it’s likely that they wouldn’t be keen to see her return given what transpired in the past.

So again why bring Cindy back after all this time? That is the question, but we might be able to shed some light on the matter, with the latest offering of the soap having potentially revealed the answer.

If you saw Thursday’s (June 1) edition of EastEnders, then you saw the Knight family make a splash as patriarch George (Colin Salmon) arrived in Walford with daughters Anna and Gina in tow to move into the Queen Vic pub.

Their backstory, like all good families, entails heartbreak, with matriarch Rose Knight, George’s wife and the girls’ mum, having walked out on them decades ago.

Little is known about this elusive Rose, other than the fact that she did a disappearing act, but given that we’re EastEnders aficionados at Metro.co.uk, we’re already suspicious about the inclusion of such a thing.

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An absent mother figure, who is still very much alive, is a story that will inevitably be explored at some stage in the future, and with Cindy set to make a return, it’s hard not to join the dots between the two seemingly unrelated narratives.

Could Cindy perhaps be Anna and Gina’s mum? After her supposed death, it’s possible that Cindy could’ve adopted a new name and identity, using the moniker of Rose Knight upon meeting and marrying George, with who she had children.

If this does prove to be the case, then her two daughters living in the Square would be more than enough reason for Cindy to return, making for such delicious conflict when she turns up alive and well after 25 years.

It does, however, beg the question of whether or not George would know about Cindy’s true identity and her past connection to Walford.

The patriarch is keeping a secret of his own, that much we already know, with him having received a series of mysterious phone calls from an unknown person. Could the caller be Rose aka Cindy? If so, is he really in love with Elaine (Harriet Thorpe)? Or is he simply using her to get his hands on the Vic for one true love Cindy?

Anna, meanwhile, is still keen to be close to her mum, having brought her jewellery box to Walford, which left Gina stunned, as she instructed her sister to make sure their dad didn’t see it, which heavily implies that George doesn’t want his daughters to have anything associated with their mother.

While you could argue that this is because of the heartbreak that Rose’s sudden departure caused them when they were little, it could also insinuate that it’s because he’s wary of them blowing his plan. Perhaps the box contains a picture of ‘Rose’, who would be recognised by a number of Walfordians as Cindy Beale?

In terms of other potential clues, Anna made a comment about finding Walford ‘familiar’ in a way, which could perhaps be a reference to the fact that Cindy spent a lot of time in this particular borough. Is this maybe why Anna feels like she might find herself here? Because it’s where her mum did just that?

Gina, meanwhile, is thought to be the more feisty of the two sisters, with George describing her as ‘angry’ with a ‘fiery temper’, which are certainly qualities one would’ve associated with a young Cindy Beale.

Like mother like daughter? We certainly think so. But if that’s not enough to convince you of the connection, then let us take a moment to remind you that Cindy’s sister was actually named Gina.

We rest our case.

EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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