Brian Conley has signed up to star in EastEnders – saying he cannot wait to order his “first pint at The Queen Vic” .
The actor and West End star, 59, is heading to Albert Square to play Terry Cant.
He will begin filming his role as Sonia’s long-lost father next month.
Conley said of his new role: “As you can imagine, being a Londoner and now being part of EastEnders is such an incredible moment for me.
“I know for sure my dad’s looking down from above and saying: ‘Good on yer son!’
“It was always his favourite programme. So in so many ways it really is an honour to be part of such an iconic show and to be working with an incredibly talented team on camera and off.”
The former host of The Brian Conley show added: “I cannot wait to order my first pint at The Queen Vic.”
Sonia (Natalie Cassidy), feeling lonely, searched for her lost father’s name online last year without success.
Having given up hope of finding him, his arrival in Walford “will be a huge shock”, the BBC One soap said.
EastEnders’ executive producer Jon Sen said of The Grimleys star: “We are delighted to welcome Brian to Albert Square.
“We had been searching for some time but the moment we met Brian, we knew instantly we had found our man.
“Brian’s a talented performer whose charm, wit and charisma are exactly the qualities we want for Terry.
“We’ve got some wonderful stories in store for him and can’t wait for the audience to see Brian bring him to life.”
Conley’s first scenes as Terry will air later this spring.