Father Ted actress Pauline McLynn is joining EastEnders to play Yvonne Cotton, the mother of Dot's enigmatic grandson Charlie.
McLynn will be seen on screen for the first time in May when she visits Dot (June Brown) who, after making a surprising discovery, demands answers about her grandson Charlie (Declan Bennett). But show bosses have teased that Dot may not get the answers she is looking for and that Yvonne may not be all that she seems.
There's been an air of mystery about Charlie ever since he arrived in Albert Square with the news that his ne'er-do-well dad Nick had died. During funeral scenes aired last month, viewers began to doubt that Nick had really died and wondered whether Charlie and funeral director Les Coker (Roger Sloman) were up to no good.
Pauline McLynn – whose other screen credits include Shameless and Angela's Ashes – said of her signing as Charlie's mum: "It is a thrill to join EastEnders, my favorite soap, and in particular any chance to be part of a Dot Cotton storyline is not to be passed up. June Brown is a legend and I feel privileged to act with her."
The soap's executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “I have always been a little in love with Pauline McLynn so I’m so excited that she’s joining the Cotton family. It was about time Albert Square had another Irish character and I know that viewers are going to both love and be intrigued by Yvonne Cotton”.