Declan Bennett, the star of the West End musical Once, has been cast in EastEnders as Charlie Cotton, Dot Branning's (June Brown) previously unknown grandson.

Singer-songwriter Bennett will begin filming as Nick Cotton's eldest son this month and will make his EastEnders debut in March.

He said: "I'm delighted to be joining the cast of EastEnders, especially at what seems to be an extremely exciting time for the show.

"June Brown is not only an incredible actress but has also created one of TV's most iconic characters so to be working alongside her is a dream come true."

The soap's Executive Producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said: "Declan is a genuinely raw, instinctive and intelligent actor. It's tremendously exciting for us to have him join our cast - and the double whammy of him and June Brown working together is going to be electric."

Treadwell-Collins continued: "With Dot feeling increasingly alone in the world, Charlie's surprise appearance means that she finally has some blood whom she can trust. But should she?"