Larry Lamb is swapping soapy storylines in Albert Square and comedy turns in Billericay for sleuthing.
The Gavin and Stacey and EastEnders star is set to join the cast of popular detective series New Tricks when it returns to BBC1 next year.
The 67-year-old actor plays an ex-cop – the appropriately named Ted Case – who will be recruited to the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad in the second episode of series 12.
“I’m thrilled to have been asked to join such a well-loved show. The writing and the cast are top notch and I’m really looking forward to getting started,” said Lamb.
“Larry is a brilliant and talented actor, he is a fantastic recruit for UCOS and we look forward to seeing the new team in action,” added BBC’s head of independent drama Polly Hill.
Lamb’s arrival in the crime drama will coincide with the departure of Dennis Waterman, who has played Gerry Standing since the show’s first series in 2003.
Waterman is the last original cast member left following the departures of Alun Armstrong, James Bolan and Amanda Redman between 2012 and 2013. New stars Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicholas Lyndhurst joined the show’s 11th series while Denis Lawson appeared for the first time in 2012.
New Tricks will return for a 12th series in 2015