A soap icon looked unrecognisable in an unearthed picture taken in the 1980s.
The actress, now 60, shared the snap on social media on Sunday as she celebrated her birthday.
Sporting red cropped hair and punk eyeshadow as she ironed her clothes, she stood in front of 70s wallpaper background.
She wrote: #birthdaygirl ! #thankyou #melvyn for this fab pic from #1980 #banddays @marimwilson. #vintage.’
Her comments were full of remarks from people wishing her a happy birthday, with her former co-star Danniella Westbrook, writing: ‘Happy birthday, beautiful.’
Who is this? Soap icon is unrecognisable in unearthed picture taken in the 1980s and posted to Instagram on Sunday – as she sports cropped red hair and punk eyeshadow
Yes, it’s Michelle Collins, who is famed for playing Cindy Beale in the BBC One soap.
Michelle is reportedly returning to EastEnders 25 years after her character was killed off.
She starred as Cindy on the BBC soap opera from 1988 until 1998 and is reportedly due to make a return to screens.
Michelle will reportedly be joined by her on-screen husband Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt), who is also heading back to the soap after a two-year break.
Michelle will make her return even though her character was said to have died in childbirth off-screen whilst serving time in prison for attempted murder.
A source told The Sun: ‘This has been done so secretively but it’s going to be an absolute bombshell — an unbelievable twist. Ian and Cindy are one of the most memorable couples in soap history.
Back with a bang: Yes it’s Michelle Collins! The 60-year-old is is returning to EastEnders 25 years after her character was killed off (Michelle pictured in 1989 as her character Cindy Beale alongside Adam Woodyatt, who played Ian Beale)
Comeback: The actress starred as Cindy Beale on the BBC soap opera from 1988 until 1998 and is reportedly due to make a return to screens (pictured this month)
‘But Cindy has been dead for 25 years — and nobody will see this coming.
‘The biggest surprise is that Michelle has so often said there’s no chance she’d come back.’
MailOnline has contacted the BBC, and representatives for Michelle and Adam for comment.
Since her time on Albert Square, Michelle has carved out a successful career on both stage and screen, having enjoyed a stint as Rovers Return landlady Stella Price in rival soap opera Coronation Street.
She has also appeared in stage productions of musicals such as Thoroughly Modern Millie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
In 2019, the Two Thousand Acres of Sky actress – who during her time on the BBC soap saw her character have a string of affairs that led Ian to hire a private investigator – remarked that she had not been able to ‘shake Cindy off’ and remained adamant that a return could not happen because her character was deceased.
She said: ‘It’s just too long now — apart from the fact I’m dead. If I went back to EastEnders, that would be it.
‘I still haven’t shaken off Cindy after all these years. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it has always been there and I’ve done a lot of other work over the years.’
Big return: Michelle is reportedly due to make a return to screens along with her on-screen husband Ian Beale, played by Adam Woodyatt (pictured last month)
Adam made a shock return to EastEnders in December for the first time since his departure from the soap in 2021 in a surprise scene during Dot Branning’s funeral episode.
Following the passing of actress June Brown in April last year aged 95, Ian appeared on the outskirts of the churchyard, ensuring his former neighbours didn’t see him.
He got teary and said: ‘Goodbye, Dot,’ as he looked on, before ringing someone he called ‘love’ and said he was heading ‘home’.
EastEnders boss Chris Clenshaw admitted Adam agreed to the brief return because he wanted to ‘be there’ for his late co-star June.
He said at the time: ‘I called Adam, told him our plans, and I said, “Ian has to be there,” and he agreed. It was kind of as simple as that. Ian would not miss it.
‘Obviously, he didn’t make it into the church, but he said his own private goodbye to Dot.
A quiet goodbye: EastEnders heavyweight Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) returned to Walford in December after his departure in 2021 to pay tribute to the late Dot Branning
Soap legend: June Brown, who died at her home in April aged 95, played the chain-smoking launderette assistant Dot Cotton, later Branning, for more than 30 years
‘So, yeah, that’s how it came about. It was just that Adam wanted to be there for June and he knew that Ian should be there for Dot.’
Adam, who played Ian Beale on EastEnders from 1985 until 2021, took part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2021.
He has also been tipped to star in 2:22 A Ghost Story, after being backed by his former EastEnders co-star Jake Wood.
The actor is allegedly keen to bag a role in the West End play, which Cheryl was recently fronting.
Currently showing at The Lyric Theatre, Jake plays Ben in the supernatural show while Adam is wowing audiences in the My Fair Lady revival.
A source told the Mirror: ‘Adam really fancies another stage play.
‘He’s loved treading the boards with My Fair Lady, which ends in April, and 2:22 Ghost Story is a potential fit.’
Earlier this year, Jake backed Adam to appear in the show, revealing he would be ‘fabulous’ as a cast member.
According to The Sun, he said: ‘Ian would be fabulous in 2:22. He has said to me he’d love to do it and hopefully, he’ll get his turn.
‘It’s such a fun one to do. It’s quite a remarkable play – probably the best I’ve ever read or been in.
‘The fact they can reinvent it with new cast means people will come back again and again.’
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