The Carter clan continues to grow in the coming weeks as Danny Dyer's screen dad Stan (Timothy West) and maternal aunt Babe (Annette Badland) both make their debuts.
Episodes to be screened at the end of January will see the Carters in need of cash and left with no other option but to turn to their father Stan for help. However, it soon becomes clear that all the members of the family have very different relationships with him.
Hot on Stan's heels will be the first appearance of the trifle-laden Aunt Babe who turns up at the Vic to offer Shirley (Linda Henry) some advice.
Timothy West – who played Eric Babbage in rival soap Coronation Street in 2013 – said of his appointment: “I am excited to be joining EastEnders for the first time. Stan is a wonderful character and I look forward to seeing what is going to happen to him.”
Badland – whose screen credits include Doctor Who and Wizards vs Aliens – added: “I’m thrilled to be joining the cast of EastEnders as I’ve always admired the show and everyone involved in it seems so warm-hearted. Aunt Babe is a fabulous and complex woman and I can’t wait to get stuck into the role.”
Stan is described by show bosses as a curmudgeonly and opinionated former Billingsgate fishmonger who was abandoned by wife Sylvie over 30 years ago. Once established in Walford, he will waste no time in “manipulating the whole Carter clan from the comfort of his armchair”.
Badland’s Aunt Babe is being billed as a “bustling busybody” who still feels residual guilt for the way her sister abandoned the family.
Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said of his two latest signings: “We are reinvigorating EastEnders’s older generation with the arrival of Stan and Aunt Babe, who will start to fill in some holes in the dark Carter family history. Tim and Annette are national institutions and such gifted, nuanced actors, bringing a real touch of Dickensian magic to the screen. It’s an honour to have them join our company.”