Viewers last saw Peter in December 2010 when he left the Square to go and stay with his sister Lucy (Hetti Bywater) and grandmother in Devon.
Whilst away he enjoyed a life of sun, sea and surf, but his relationship with Lucy suffered when he started dating her best friend Leanne.
Speaking of his new role, Hardy said: “I’m really excited to be joining the fantastic cast of EastEnders – a show which my family have watched for years. I can’t wait to step into the shoes of a character with so much history and am looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Bosses have revealed that Peter will be a hit with the local girls when he returns to Walford and with his more confident approach to life, he finds it difficult to resist their advances.
EastEnders’ executive producer Lorraine Newman said: “Ben’s a wonderful addition to the EastEnders cast and I am sure he will be popular with the audience. Having Peter back in the Beale fold helps cement the next generation of the Beale clan, a family who exist at the true heart of the show.
“Ian’s wonderful relationship with Denise and the inclusion of Lucy, Peter and Bobby in the household will reinvigorate the clan with vibrancy and energy. I am really looking forward to seeing them all together on screen.”
Peter will return to screens in July.