Bosses at BBC1 soap Eastenders have cast George Layton in the role of Norman Simmonds, the estranged son of existing character Lydia Simmonds (Heather Chasen). The new character turns up in a few weeks at his mother's funeral to the shock of her grand-daughter Janine Malloy (Charlie Brooks).
Bitchy Janine gets a shock when a mystery man turns up at her beloved grandmother's funeral and introduces himself as Lydia's son. After the service Norman decides to go against his original plans and to stick around Walford because he plans to contest Lydia's will in which she gives all her money to charity.
However to his shock, Norman comes across an old face when in Walford, show veteran Pat Evans (Pam St. Clement). The newcomer quickly gains a soft spot for kind-hearted Pat and billed as ''hapless, clumsy and unlucky in life'', Norman looks set to be the genuine, big-hearted man Pat is looking for.
Speaking about his new television role, Layton exclaimed: ''I am thrilled to be joining such a wonderful cast and crew - Norman is a great part and I can't wait to play him. I can't wait to get stuck into life in Albert Square - and hopefully the odd triple or three in The Queen Vic!''
Layton will be familiar to viewers from many TV programmes such as Doctor At Large, Doctor In Charge and Doctor In The House in which he played junior medic Paul Collier and in other shows such as Minder and Sunburn. Lydia passes peacefully in Monday's edition of Eastenders leaving Janine heartbroken and lonely.