EastEnders is set to welcome a new character on the soap. Actress Ellen Thomas, who has starred on the BBC show before, will play "steely" matriarch Claudette. While little is known of her character, viewers do know that Claudette has various ties with the other London residents on Albert Square.
The new arrival, who is said to be hiding some "twisted secrets", has also been tipped to stir up trouble with her "tough-talking" nature.
"This is one of the most formidable and complete characters I've ever played," said actress Ellen, who is best known for her recurring role in comedy Teachers and for her performance in series Rev. "I'm really looking forward to the delicious mayhem she's going to bring to Albert Square."
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Ellen Thomas has appeared on EastEnders twice before as different characters
Despite the hush-hush nature of Ellen's role, EastEnders' executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has spoken about how valued the soap star – who will appear on screens this month – will be.
"Ellen Thomas belongs on EastEnders," he told Daily Star Sunday. "Like many actresses before her, she's been in the show playing a different role – thank goodness Linda Henry didn't just play Mandy's mum – but this is the role she was born to play.
"Albert Square now has a new steely matriarch – with a few twisted secrets hidden behind her beaming smile."
Ellen Thomas, pictured on the set of Rev, is also known for her role in Teachers
Ellen has previously starred in EastEnders twice before. Her most recent stint was playing Grace Olubunmi, the grandmother of Mercy and Faith, in 2011. She also appeared on the show in 1990, portraying Pearl Chadwick.
Apart from her regular roles in Clare in the Community and Coming of Age, Ellen has also guest-starred in Doctor Who, Casualty, Holby City and The Bill among other shows.
EastEnders hit headlines last month when it celebrated its 30th anniversary with a week of live episodes. Lucy Beale's killer was finally unveiled as her brother Bobby, but producers have said that a new twist lies in the ongoing storyline – the 11-year-old will be getting away with the crime and an innocent person arrested.