Gwen's first scenes will air later this spring...
EastEnders has welcomed renowned actress Gwen Taylor to the cast as Stuart and Callum Highway's grandmother, Violet Highway.
Gwen is known for her roles as Amy Pearce in Duty Free, Rita Simcock in A Bit if a Do and the titular role in three series of Barbara.
Gwen's film credits include Monty Python's Life of Brian and The Lady in the Van.
Walford's new arrival
Violet will arrive in Albert Square in the run up to Callum's wedding to Ben Mitchell, but it will be clear from the start that she's no warm and cuddly grandma.
A statement from EastEnders has revealed that Violet is a straight-talking grandma who has no qualms putting people in their place...
"With her quick wit and hard facade, Violet is sure to make someone even as tough as Ben Mitchell squirm.
"She hasn't spent much time with her grandsons in the past but there is a big heart buried, albeit very deep, so perhaps her boys might need her more than they realise..."
The role of a lifetime
Speaking of her new role in EastEnders Gwen said: "I remember when the first episodes of EastEnders launched and I was desperate to be in it.
"Now after all these years, here I am playing a wonderful character.
"It’s fantastic and the cast are great, everybody has treated me so well and I feel extremely welcome."
Executive Producer Jon Sen added: "Having Gwen join the show is an honour.
"She’s the perfect actress to play the multi-faceted Violet, a grandmother not to be messed with.
"Stuart and Callum are sure to find this out the hard way when she arrives in Walford for Callum’s big day.
"They’ll no doubt be wanting her visit to be fleeting but Violet definitely has other ideas.
"We welcome Gwen to Walford and look forward to the audience watching her make her mark."
EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings.
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