The actor – famed for his roles as Barry Grant in Brookside and Des Taviner in The Bill – has joined the soap as a tough associate of Phil Mitchell.

Usher’s character, Danny Hardcastle, will appear on a short-term basis this spring, the beeb say.

He is described by the soap as a seemingly charming businessman who comes to Walford with some unfinished business to sort out with Phil (Steve McFadden).

“Viewers know only too well that Phil’s trips to Spain often involve something dodgy, but it seems this time Phil’s shenanigans have followed him back to Walford. Will Phil be able to help Danny find what he’s looking for?” – BBC

Usher was one of the original stars of Brookside when the gritty cul-de-sac saga was launched by Channel 4 in November 1982. He played the role of Barry Grant on and off until the soap’s final episode in 2003.

Bad boy Barry, the eldest of Bobby (Ricky Tomlinson) and Sheila’s (Sue Johnston) three children, was the close’s resident scallywag who went on to become more villainous. His antics included pushing his best friend’s wife to her death after she threatened to reveal they had slept together.

Usher is also well known for his role as PC Des Taviner in ITV police drama The Bill from 2001 until 2004. The unorthodox character had a hand in blowing up Sun Hill, causing the death of a number of his colleagues.

The Daily Star first reported that Usher has joined the cast of EastEnders to play a hardman over the weekend. A source told the paper that Paul’s character was to be involved in some “dark scenes” with Phil and his son Ben, played by Max Bowden. 

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