We’ve already seen him organising send-offs for both Pat Evans and Nick Cotton, but now funeral director Les Coker (Roger Sloman) is to set up permanent premises on Albert Square.
With the mortality rate remaining high in Walford (yes, Lucy Beale, we’re looking at you), Les is bound to do a roaring trade – especially as he seems especially keen on burying your secrets as well as your loved ones. Viewers have already seen him in deep with the enigmatic Charlie Cotton (Declan Bennett), which begs the question as to how far Les is willing to go for money…
Joining him will be busybody wife Pam (Liz Blakley), who is set to become a confidante to other characters after taking on the job of running the flower stall on the market.
Speaking about his signing to the BBC1 soap, actor Roger Sloman (whose previous screen credits include Inside No 9 and Shameless) said: “It’s hugely rewarding to be working alongside actors who I have a huge admiration for and have been a part of my life for so long. It is a thrill to play Les who has so many different angles and is not a straightforward character. It is also a pleasure to be working alongside Lin Blakley.”
Lin Blakley (Doctors, Holby City, The Football Factory) added: “Being part of EastEnders is like going to work and being with another family, I’m really enjoying myself. Working with Roger has been wonderful from the word go, we have a laugh together and I feel like I have known him forever.”
For executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, the introduction of the Cokers continues his mission to reinvigorate the soap’s representation of older people: “Les and Pam are part of our plans to rejuvenate the show’s older generation. It’s already so exciting to watch the chemistry between Roger and Lin on set, playing characters who have been together for so long, they know each other inside out. Or so they think.”
Viewers will see Les and Pam arrive in Walford later this month.