Irish actor Pauline McLynn joins Eastenders

Father Ted’s Mrs Doyle to play Charlie Cotton’s mother in a move to Albert Square

In a move from the wilds of Craggy Island to London’s Albert Square, Irish actor Pauline McLynn is joining EastEnders to play Charlie Cotton’s mother, it was announced today.

Representatives of the long-running BBC soap said the former Father Ted actor will have "a recurring guest role" as Yvonne Cotton.

McLynn, who played housekeeper Mrs Doyle in the Channel 4 sitcom, will be seen on screen next month. She has also starred in Channel 4 comedy-drama Shameless.

"It is a thrill to join EastEnders, my favourite soap, and in particular any chance to be part of a Dot Cotton storyline is not to be passed up — June Brown is a legend and I feel privileged to act with her," McLynn said.

The show’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins he had “always been a little in love with Pauline McLynn”and was “so excited that she’s joining the Cotton family”.

“ It was about time Albert Square had another Irish character and I know that viewers are going to both love and be intrigued by Yvonne Cotton,” he said.

Viewers have seen Charlie (Declan Bennett) arrive on the square after the death of his father Nick who was last seen in the soap in 2009.

John Altman played the soap villain for 24 years and over the years Nick caused his devoted mother Dot constant heartaches including her battle to help him end his heroin addiction and his regular brushes with the law.