BBC EastEnders fans ‘work out’ identity of Cindy Beale’s mystery business partner after cryptic clue

EastEnders fans think they've figured out who Cindy Beale's new business partner is – and it's a face longtime viewers will certainly recognise.

In Wednesday night's episode, Cindy took a phone call from an unknown person, who she tried to persuade to join her and Ian in their new business venture.

Speaking to the unknown individual, who had been bidding on the same location as the Beales, Cindy offered them the opportunity to join forces instead, telling the caller: "You don't have to make a decision straight away. But I think it will work really well for the both of us."

Later on, Cindy revealed her scheme to Ian, who wasn't too sure about going into business with "some random", but Cindy quickly reassured him that the mystery man knows Walford very well.

She explained: "He knows Walford, he used to live here. He doesn't really want anyone to know, not until he's signed the business deal. I met him this morning and he seems really professional."

Fans have been left buzzing with theories about the identity of a mystery man, with some predicting the return of the villainous Dean, while others have suggest the mystery businessman may be Max Branning.

One fan shared their theory on Reddit: "I think it's definitely going to be Dean. What Cindy said about him not wanting anyone to know about him yet makes me sure of it."

Another added: "The line about the bidder not wanting anyone to know about him, definitely sounds like it could be dean."

A third added: "We know Dean is returning, and he would definitely want to avoid anyone – especially Linda and her allies – knowing he's back but how would he have the money to buy into anything? That's my big question.

"Shirley also left with no money. Unless they return with Carly and she's got the money? Max would have the money and potentially a reason to not want people to know he's around (if he's unaware that Stuart and Rainie have moved on).

"I wonder if there's another person, who had money when they left, a reason/link to return for, who had never met Cindy before and is not on our radars."

And while some are convinced the mystery man is Dean, others think his potential return may be a "red herring", with one arguing: "I still think it's Max. I think Dean is coming back too but maybe as a red herring."

Another viewer shared their thoughts, as they pointed out that Dean would perhaps be unlikely to hide his identity from Cindy: "Their timelines don't cross at all. Dean didn't debut until 2006, nearly a decade after Cindy's 'death'.

"Having said that, his dad Kevin was Simon's cousin, so there's that connection and another reason why he wouldn't want Cindy saying anything."

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