EastEnders signs Barbara star Gwen Taylor as Callum Highway’s battleaxe grandmother

GWEN Taylor has joined the cast of EastEnders as Stuart and Callum Highway's ferocious nan Violet.

The 82-year-old actress, who has also starred in Heartbeat, Coronation Street and Doctors, can add the BBC One soap to her impressive line of work.

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The soap star's no-nonsense character is set to make an appearance on our screens later this month.

Violet decides to make a trip to the Square after finding out that her grandson Callum is planning to tie the knot with Ben Mitchell very soon.

Her alter-ego is described as "straight talking" and has "no qualms about putting people in their place".

So it looks like Walford bad boy Ben could finally be left quivering in his boots.

Although the Highway brothers haven't spoken much about their nan, or spent much time with her, it's been teased that she's going to become a huge part of their lives in coming months.

Gwen is super excited about her new role in the hit show and can't wait for her scenes to be aired –  which will be this spring.

She 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."

The star initially started off her career in banking, but soon realised she was passionate about acting.

She went on to train at East 15 Acting School in London and landed her first role in telly in 1972 as Tessa in BBC's Dead of Night.

Gwen has gone on to star in a number of TV programmes, films and theatre shows throughout her time in the limelight.

Some of her telly work include ITV's Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, Doc Martin and Sky One's Trollied.

She's also appeared in 1979's Monty Python's Life of Brian, 2015's The Lady in the Van and 2017's Another Mother's Son.

Gwen isn't the only one who is excited about her joining the cast.

Executive Producer of the soap, Jon Sen said: “Having Gwen join the show is an honour, she’s the perfect actress to play the multi-faceted Violet Highway, 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 and 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.”

Watch EastEnders every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on BBC One.


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