Jamie Foreman, son of notorious London criminal Freddie Foreman, will be raising hell on the set of EastEnders when he takes up the role of thug Derek Branning later this year.
Jamie’s father Freddie, 79, who was linked to the Krays, also had his moment in the spotlight when he confessed on television to have been involved in the gangland killings of Frank "The Mad Axeman" Mitchell and thief Tommy "Ginger" Marks. He had previously been tried for, and cleared of, the crimes in the 60s.
Freddie served 16 years for his part in disposing of the body of gangster Jack "the Hat" McVitie. In 2000, Jamie appeared in crime movie Gangster No 1, based on his father's life.
His colourful past has clearly given Jamie a taste for playing rogues and villains, including Bill Sykes in Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist and Duke in Layer Cake. He also starred as Mark, alongside Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke, in Gary Oldman’s Nil by Mouth.
As Derek Branning, Jamie is fleshing out the shadowy figure of Jim and Reenie’s son, who has often been mentioned but never seen. Derek’s set to make trouble when he makes his entrance, with show bosses saying he plans on being “king of the square”.
Foreman said of his new role: "I am hugely excited to be joining such an iconic show. EastEnders is full of fantastic actors so it is a role I couldn't refuse. The Brannings are such a great family to be joining and I am extremely interested to see how Derek is going to fit in."
Bryan Kirkwood, executive producer of the BBC1 soap, said: “It's a real coup to sign Jamie Foreman to play the biggest, baddest Branning brother. Jamie has an incredible acting pedigree, having starred in some of the best British movies of recent times, and we can't wait for him to bring his unique talents to Walford."