EastEnders casts Dexter's father
John plays the father of Dexter Hartman, who left a pregnant Ava when he went out to get milk and never returned. He has never met his son, but is determined to forge a relationship with him following the death of his own father.
Lorraine Newman, executive producer of the soap, welcomed the casting, saying: "Cornell's powerful presence and natural gravitas will ensure he's a strong presence on screen".
"The addition of Sam gives us a solid family unit with Dexter and Ava. However, after such a long absence, sparks are sure to initially fly. Let's just hope he's got the milk!"
John added "It's a great honour and pleasure to be joining the EastEnders family. I look forward to working with the cast and to Sam's adventures on the square".