West End star Maria Friedman is to ruffle feathers on EastEnders having signed up to play Linda Carter's mum Elaine Peacock.
Friedman - star of productions including Chicago, The Woman in White and Ragtime - will appear on the BBC1 soap for a guest stint this autumn, with Elaine being described by show bosses as "a glamorous landlady who loves to be the centre of attention".
The character will be brought in thanks to Linda's partner Mick (Danny Dyer) who is worried about Linda's (Kellie Bright) wellbeing. Little does he realise that Linda has recently been sexually assaulted by family member Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo), but will the arrival of Elaine make the situation better or worse?
Speaking today, Maria Friedman commented: “I am thrilled to be joining the cast of EastEnders to play Elaine Peacock. Working alongside Kellie Bright and the rest of the Carter clan has been an absolute joy. It has also been a lovely experience to take my West End shoes East for a short trip!”
Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: "Ever since Elaine became the voice on the end of the Queen Vic phone, we have been waiting to see just what kind of woman made Linda Carter. Elaine is tough, warm and capable - but also proud and more than a little vain, bringing with her a whole new dynamic when she arrives in Walford to sort out her daughter.
"Maria Friedman is a West End legend and we are all very excited to have someone of her pedigree playing Elaine Peacock."