Patrick Bergin to play 'old-school villain' on EastEnders
Sleeping with the Enemy star Patrick Bergin - the man who turned towel-straightening into a sign of malevolent intent - is joining EastEnders.
The Robin Hood actor will play Aidan Maguire, a prison friend of Phil Mitchell's who is described as a "charismatic old-school villain".
The 66-year-old will start filming this month and will appear on screen towards the end of the year.
Bergin said he was "delighted" to join a soap he had "watched and admired."
"It is an iconic show that has the ability to shape the way people think, whilst also telling big explosive stories that keep the audience gripped.
"I am really looking forward to seeing what they have in store for Aidan as it's bound to be dramatic."
Bergin's storyline will see Aidan turn up on Phil's doorstep after many years, reigniting their old bond of friendship and ability to get into trouble.
EastEnders' creative director John Yorke said it was a "huge honour to have him on board".
He said Bergin will be working closely with Phil (Steve McFadden) and Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) to "carry a truly explosive storyline" over Christmas and New Year.
"EastEnders deserves the very best, and in Patrick we are absolutely privileged to have a truly great actor join the show."
Born in Dublin in 1951, Bergin's recent credits include heist film We Still Steal the Old Way and Irish TV series Red Rock.