Chucky Venn joins EastEnders

The former 'Footballer's Wives' actor will make his first appearance on Albert Square early next year in the role of Ray, a former boyfriend of Bianca Butcher and father of her son Morgan.

Chucky said: "I have had the pleasure of working on many great productions with fantastic artistes such as Morgan Freeman and I have to say working on 'EastEnders' feels like it is up there with the best of them.

"'EastEnders' is etched in British history and it is an honour and a pleasure to be part of it."

Ray's entrance comes when Whitney Dean tracks him down after tiring of seeing how overworked Bianca is - and is stunned when the newcomer reveals he had no idea he has a son.

Meanwhile, Lucy Beale is to return to the show, but played by a new actress.

Hetti Bywater is taking over from Melissa Suffield as the troublesome teen and is "excited" about joining the soap.

She said: "I'm really excited to be joining such an iconic show as 'EastEnders', especially becoming part of the Beale household. I'm looking forward to finding out what's in store for Lucy and seeing what she's going to get up to when she returns to Walford."

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