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EastEnders casts Shirley Carter's mum Sylvie

(Image credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima)

This time last year, Shirley was the only Carter on the Square, but since the arrival of Tina, Mick, Linda and the kids they just keep on coming!

We've met Aunt Babe and Stan, and now we're going to meet the much talked about Sylvie because EastEnders has revealed that it has cast critically-acclaimed actress, Linda Marlowe, in the role…

Aunt Babe's sister Sylvie is the mother to Shirley and Tina, but she also brought up Shirley's son Mick as if he were her own. After struggling to cope with a house full of kids and an abusive husband, Sylvie walked out on her family and they haven't heard from her since. A couple of months ago, however, it was revealed that Aunt Babe was still in contact with her sister, a hint that it wouldn't be long before she turned up in Albert Square!

Although she's manipulative and used to getting her own way, Sylvie arrives in Walford to seek help from the family she abandoned years ago, and something tells us that the Carters won't be giving her a warm welcome…

"We've had Sylvie Carter - and Linda Marlowe - in our heads for almost as long as Shirley has been on Albert Square," said the soap's executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins. "Linda is such an intuitive, raw and skilled actress, perfect to bring to life the brittle faded glamour of this most selfish of mothers. Sylvie's return is going to open old wounds in the Carter family - and watching Linda Marlowe, Annette Badland (Aunt Babe), Ann Mitchell (Cora) and Timothy West (Stan) going for it on screen is going to be electric."

Linda has had countless film and television roles including the 2011 film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, alongside Gary Oldman, and the popular 1990s TV drama Love Hurts, with Zoe Wanamaker.

Commenting on the role, Linda said: "I'm totally thrilled to be joining the cast of EastEnders and playing such a wonderful character."