Coup for EastEnders as Seventies heart-throb David Essex joins cast

Singer, actor and 1970s heart- throb David Essex is to join the cast of the BBC soap EastEnders.

Essex, 63, is expected to create fresh tensions in the Moon household playing Eddie, the charismatic father of Michael and uncle to Alfie.

Head of the family Eddie will arrive in Albert Square later this year with his children in tow, heralding a new era for the Moon family.

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The roles of the character's children are yet to be cast.

A show spokesman said despite making a fresh start, his fractured relationship with Michael "hints at a past he'd rather forget".

Essex said: "Being an East Ender myself I'm really excited to be joining the Square.

"Eddie Moon is a great character and I can't wait to get to grips with the role and work with such a fantastic cast."

Essex shot to fame after being chosen by producers to play the role of Jesus in the hit musical Godspell in the early 70s and enjoyed acting success before going onto become a famous recording artist.

His pop music career saw him achieve 23 top 30 singles in Britain. In 1999 was awarded an OBE from the Queen in recognition of his services to charity as an ambassador for the Voluntary Service Overseas.

Bryan Kirkwood, executive producer of EastEnders, added: "David Essex is a brilliant signing for EastEnders. He is a unique talent with a legion of fans, and he will bring warmth and charisma to the role of Eddie Moon."