Comedian and actor Richard Blackwood is to join the cast of EastEnders – and will make his debut in a live scene this February.
The 42-year-old will play a new Walford villain and is set to first appear next month during the BBC1 soap’s 30th anniversary week.
Blackwood – who first came to fame presenting MTV dating show Singled Out and with his hit single Mama Who Da Man? – said of his signing to EastEnders: “I want to thank executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins and casting director Julia Crampsie for giving me this amazing opportunity.
“EastEnders is a show I’ve grown up watching so to film on Albert Square is something I’ll never get used to. To know my first ever scene will be a live one hopefully means the team believe in me and I won’t let them down!”
Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “Richard Blackwood has always been on our EastEnders wishlist – and now the perfect part has come along. Richard’s an authentic Londoner and a terrific actor, bringing with him warmth, humour and energy which will add so many layers to this 21st century EastEnders villain.
“The status quo in the Square is about to be well and truly shaken…”
EastEnders’s 30th birthday is to be marked with a week of episodes that will all feature live elements, with the anniversary date itself – 19 February – boasting a full 30-minute live episode. Past stars Barbara Windsor and Jo Joyner are also set to feature during the week, while the key plotline will see the killer of Lucy Beale finally unmasked to viewers.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below: