Derek, played by Jamie Foreman, enjoys spending time at the Butcher household in an upcoming episode - covering for Tiffany and Morgan when he learns that they're pretending to be ill to avoid school.
The youngsters are also secretly taking care of a stray kitten, so Derek suggests that they should call him Joey - neglecting to mention that it's the name of his estranged son.
Pictured: Derek bonds with Tiffany and Morgan.
After getting on so well with Bianca's kids, Derek wonders whether he can make peace with his son and recruits Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) to help him out.
Derek asks Alfie to deliver his grandfather's watch as a present for Joey. As he waits in the car, the Albert Square villain also hopes that Joey will agree to see him, but a disappointed Alfie soon returns with the watch in hand - having been turned away by Derek's son.
Derek isn't entirely surprised by the rejection as he's never really been around for Joey, but it's clear that he's feeling hurt as he warns Alfie not to tell anyone about this...
EastEnders bosses recently announced that Derek's daughter Alice will be arriving in Walford in May. Will Derek get his chance to prove himself as a good dad when she turns up?
EastEnders airs these scenes on Thursday, April 26 at 7.30pm on BBC One.
> EastEnders' Jamie Foreman: 'Derek will surprise viewers'
> EastEnders lines up Alfie, Derek friendship
> EastEnders casts Derek Branning's daughter Alice
> Read more EastEnders spoilers and news