Stage and screen veteran Timothy West has joined the cast of EastEnders, and will play the father of one of the soap's new characters.

Warning: spoiler alert!

West, whose credits include King Lear, Bleak House, Coronation Street and Brass, will play Stan Carter, the "opinionated" and "curmudgeonly" father of Mick Carter (Danny Dyer).

Dyer will make his debut in the soap at Christmas, with West following in January.

An EastEnders spokesperson said: "Stan is no fluffy old man in a cardigan and it won't be long before he starts manipulating the whole Carter clan from the comfort of his armchair."

West said of his role: "Stan is a wonderful character and I look forward to seeing what is going to happen to him."

Also joining the soap as part of the Carter clan is Annette Badland (Coronation Street, Bergerac, Cutting It), who will play "bustling busybody" Aunt Babe.

The soap's Executive Producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said: "We are reinvigorating EastEnders' older generation with the arrival of Stan and Aunt Babe, who will start to fill in some holes in the dark Carter family history.

"Tim and Annette are national institutions and such gifted, nuanced actors, bringing a real touch of Dickensian magic to the screen. It's an honour to have them join our company."