'Days of Our Lives': Stephen Nichols Returning as Steve 'Patch' Johnson

It's been announced that Days of Our Lives star Stephen Nichols will be returning to the show as his famed character Steve "Patch" Johnson.

The news was announced by Soap Opera Digest, who exclusively spoke with Nichols about his return. “[I said] to myself, ‘Well, I’ll be damned,’ ” he said when asked about his reaction to getting a call requesting that he come back to the show.

Nichols went on to essentially credit his loyal fanbase for campaigning to get him back.

“These good people who are so loyal and dedicated to supporting us, mean so much to me,” he says. “In my opinion, the most beneficial thing about social media has been connecting with the fans on a deeper level. So much so that I consider them true friends.”

Days of Our Lives reportedly has some big plans in store for Patch, but Nichols isn't revealing anything at this time, rather, he says everyone will have to “wait and see.”

Nichols previously starred on the soap from 1985 to 1990, then he left and returned in 2006. He exited again in 2009, but then returned yet again in 2015. Then, he left the show once more in 2018.

TV Line notes that in April 2018 he posted a social media comment about not having enough screen time, writing, “I do believe continuing to weave Steve and Kayla’s past into present day story is intelligent writing. However, one day per week (or less) doesn’t give the fans enough time to live with these characters. Respectfully, hoping for a remedy to this.”

Two months later he was gone again. This marks Nichols' third time returning to the series.

Notably, in January it was announced that Days of Our Lives has been renewed for its 55th season, with series executive producer Ken Corday issuing a statement on the big news.

"It's a great day in Salem! The sands in the hourglass will continue to flow for yet another year," he said. "We're grateful to NBC and [producer] Sony for their continued support of the show and, of course, to our dedicated and passionate fans — we owe it all to you. Thank you for taking us through our 55th season. We can't wait for you to see what we have in store."

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Bruce Evans — the Executive Vice President of Current Programming for NBC — also provided a statement, saying, "With writing that manages to weave together Salem's iconic characters with current realities, Ken Corday and his team have ushered the show’s legacy into a new era that resonates with both longtime and new viewers. The actors and crew have such a tremendous respect for Days and what it means to fans. We believe that level of commitment shows through and touches our audience year after year."

At this time, no specific date has been announced for Nichols return.