EastEnders' Jean to get new love interest

Former 'The Bill' star Tony O'Callaghan is joining 'EastEnders' as keen gardener Ollie, a new love interest for Jean Slater (Gillian Wright)

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Gillian Wright - EastEnders

Gillian Wright who plays Jean Slater

Former 'The Bill' star Tony O'Callaghan is joining 'EastEnders'.

The 56-year-old actor is to arrive in Albert Square as enthusiastic gardener Ollie and he will soon become romantically interested in Jean Slater (Gillian Wright).

The pair meet after Jean is given her own allotment and although their budding relationship gets off to a lukewarm start they soon become close.

Tony is thrilled to be joining the BBC soap, saying: "I am very excited to be joining a show with as much prestige as 'EastEnders' and I'm looking forward to portraying the nice side and humour of Ollie."

Tony played Sergeant Matt Boyden in ITV police drama 'The Bill' between 1991 and 2003. The show was cancelled in 2010 and came off air in August of that same year after 2,400 episodes.

Tony is not the only new cast member joining 'EastEnders'.

Actress Tessa Wyatt - famous for portraying Verity Nicholls in sitcom 'Robin's Nest' - is coming to Walford as Betty, a new companion and dance partner for Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker).

Viewers will see Betty clash with Patrick's close friend and love interest Cora Cross - played by Ann Mitchell - and he will have to choose between the two ladies.

Tessa - who was previously married to DJ Tony Blackburn and has appeared in numerous programmes such as 'Peep Show' and 'Casualty' - will make her first appearance in 'EastEnders' on Friday July 5, while Tony's debut takes place on Thursday 11 July.

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