EASTENDERS is to get its first undertaking business as producers want to “rejuvenate” the shows older generation.
Roger Sloman, who plays bit-part funeral director Les Coker, has joined the cast of the BBC One soap on a permanent basis alongside Lin Blakley, who will play his wife Pam, as they open a funeral parlour in Albert Square.
He has already organised Nick Cotton’s funeral while seemingly being involved with some shifty business with Charlie.
The soap's executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: “Les and Pam are part of our plans to rejuvenate the show's older generation.
“It's already so exciting to watch the chemistry between Roger and Lin on set, playing characters who have been together for so long, they know each other inside out. Or so they think.”
Les has raised suspicions during a number of meetings with Dot Branning's (June Brown) supposed grandson Charlie Cotton (Declan Bennett).
As well as his funeral parlour duties, it is said Les will not only bury the Walford residents' loved ones but he will also bury their secrets in return for the right price.
Les' wife Pam, who has been described as a small woman with a big heart, will be working on a flower stall on the market as well as in the funeral parlour, but it's said that her loyalty may be tested if she learns of her husband's secretive behaviour.
Roger - who played Rocky Wesson in long-running TV series Crossroads - said: “It’s hugely rewarding to be working alongside actors who I have a huge admiration for and have been a part of my life for so long.
“It is a thrill to play Les who has so many different angles and is not a straight forward character. It is also a pleasure to be working alongside Lin Blakley.”
Lin – who has appeared in Doctors and The Football Factory - said of her casting: “Being part of EastEnders is like going to work and being with another family, I’m really enjoying myself.
“Working with Roger has been wonderful from the word go, we have a laugh together and I feel like I have known him forever.”
The couple are set to move to Walford later this month ahead of the death of Lucy Beale (Hetti Bywater).