Patsy Palmer confirms that she will return to BBC1 soap 'Eastenders' later this year following her maternity leave

PatsyPatsy Palmer has confirmed that she will return to her role as Bianca Butcher on BBC1 soap Eastenders after her abrupt exit in early 2011 when she gave birth to her baby son Bertie 4 weeks early.

The highly popular actress who plays show favourite Bianca Butcher, one half of popular couple Ricky and Bianca confirmed in an interview with The Mirror that she will return to filming later this year after her contract expired making viewers wonder if Bianca would return to the square at all.

Speaking to the paper, she confirmed that she has signed a new ''working mums'' contract which will allow her to balance filming for the show with spending time with her family. Explaining the contract, Patsy said: ''I honestly thought I wouldn't go back. I wanted to make sure Bertie was 100% healthy and EastEnders is relentless.''

She continued: ''Even now I don't know how I'm going to do it. I'm a mother of four wonderful kids and they come first. Like most working parents, juggling everything can be difficult but my new contract will give me more time with my family.''

"The trade-off is less money as we only get paid for what we do but the most important thing is that I will be there for all their important dates like sports and parents days, school holidays and things like that. And viewers won't notice because of the way they will schedule filming."

"I start filming in the autumn and will be on screen before Christmas and I'm really excited as I've got some great storylines coming up.I love playing Bianca but she was always miserable. But after her experience in prison I think we'll see a different softer side to Bianca which will be a new challenge for me,'' concluded Patsy. Her character is currently in prison for attacking Connor Stanley (Arinze Kene) who cheated on her step-daughter Whitney Dean (Shona Mc Garty) with her mother Carol Jackson (Lindsay Coulson).

Meanwhile, Bianca's husband Ricky (Sid Owen) is set to jet off to Dubai this week to continue his work abroad in order to get more money for his family. He will also return later this year.