Patrick Bergin, the Irish actor who has starred in Hollywood movies Mountains of the Moon, Dracula, Robin Hood, and most famously Sleeping with the Enemy, has joined EastEnders to play a charismatic old school villain.

Bergin (66), who recently starred in TV3 drama Red Rock, will play Aidan Joseph Patrick Maguire in the BBC soap. Maguire is an old friend of Phil Mitchell and they first got to know each other when they lived together at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in 2005.

During their time inside the two formed a strong friendship helping each other out if and when they needed it. 

According to an EastEnders statement, the two old lags haven’t been in touch for years so when Aidan turns up on Phil’s doorstep it’s not long before the old bond is instantly reignited as well as Phil’s passion for dabbling in things that aren’t, well, strictly legit . . .

The statement added, "High status, enigmatic and full of charm, Maguire’s arrival in Walford makes an immediate impact."

Speaking about joining EastEnders, Bergin said, "I am delighted to be joining EastEnders as I have watched and admired it since the days of Dirty Den.

Bergin pictured with Jon Voight at the IFTAs in 2010 

"It is an iconic show that has the ability to shape the way people think, whilst also telling big explosive stories that keep the audience gripped. I am really looking forward to seeing what they have in store for Aidan as it's bound to be dramatic."

John Yorke, Creative Director, EastEnders said: "EastEnders deserves the very best and in Patrick we are absolutely privileged to have a truly great actor join the show.

"It’s a huge honour to have him on board, where he’ll be working hand in hand with Phil Mitchell and Mick Carter to carry a truly explosive storyline for Christmas and New Year. We can’t wait to get started."

EastEnders is on RTÉ One/BBC1 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday