Derek, 80, will be back on our screens briefly over Christmas after EastEnders bosses reprised his role after his axing in 2011.
The actor, however, hopes his part can be made permanent, as he loved his job on the BBC1 soap so much.
Derek, who played Charlie for 11 years before being written out, spoke about his return to the Sunday Mirror.
He told the newspaper: "It was wonderful to go back after all this time. I got a call saying they wanted me to do an episode for Christmas and it turned out to be three.
"I walked into the Queen Vic on my first day and it was like I'd never left."
Derek added: "Who knows, if Charlie goes down well this Christmas, maybe it will all become more permanent. Nothing's been said but I can't help hoping."
Earlier this month, we told how Lacey Turner is also returning to EastEnders to reprise her role of Stacey Branning - Charlie's niece.
She previously said: "I may have left EastEnders over three years ago, but the show has always been in my heart - as has Stacey - and she has never really left my side."
As part of a new shake up, Busted star Matt Willis will also be joining the soap temporarily, playing Stacey's boyfriend Luke.
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