'Hollyoaks' casts former 'EastEnders' star for major new role

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Who's coming to the village? Hollyoaks is set to welcome a new resident. (Image credit: Lime Pictures)

Hollyoaks have cast Glynis Barber to play new village gangster, Norma.

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Here's trouble: Glynis Barber will play new baddie Norma. (Image credit: Lime Pictures)

The actress will be familiar to soap fans for playing Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell’s mum Glenda in EastEnders and before that, DCI Grace Barraclough in Emmerdale.

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Faaaarmily Affairs: Glynis with 'EastEnders' co-stars Sam Womack (left) and Rita Simons (right) who played her character Glenda's daughters, Ronnie and Roxy. (Image credit: BBC)

She’s probably best known, however, for starring in 80s cop show Dempsey and Makepeace alongside Michael Brandon, whom she went on to marry.

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Partners in crime: Glynis with Michael Brandon in hit 80s crime series 'Dempsey and Makepeace'. (Image credit: Alamy)

“I’m really excited to be playing Norma as she’s an amazing character - formidable, complex, and taking on the men and leaving them quaking in their boots,” says the 66-year-old star. 

“The team and cast at Hollyoaks have been incredibly welcoming, and I can’t wait to get my teeth into the character.”

Glynis Barber’s first scenes will air in the Spring, when Norma is seen arriving in the village behind the wheel of a hearse, demanding to know who has been stealing her money.

Show bosses promise she’s “out for blood” and that fan favourites Ste (Kieron Richardson) and Sienna (Anna Passey) will soon end up in the firing line.

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New arrival: Angus Castle-Doughty as 'Hollyoaks' newcomer Eric Foster. (Image credit: Lime Pictures)

Barber’s casting comes hot on the heels of Hollyoaks’ announcement that it is bringing in Showtrial and Shadow and Bone star Angus Castle-Doughty to play Eric Foster, the estranged brother of Tony (Nick Pickard) and Verity Hutchinson (Eva O'Hara).

Described as “socially awkward”, Eric will be helped by Verity to settle into the village, and viewers will soon learn more about the siblings’ complex dynamic.

It’s exciting times for the Chester-based soap. In a new era for Hollyoaks – and a soap first - daily episodes are now being uploaded to All4 before their usual airings on Channel 4.

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.