Timothy West is joining the cast of EastEnders to play Danny Dyer’s father.

Viewers will see Danny’s character, Mick Carter, arrive on the show at Christmas with veteran actor Timothy following in January.

The esteemed TV and stage star, who spent many years with the Royal Shakespeare Company and is married to Fawlty Towers actress Prunella Scales, will play retired Billingsgate fishmonger Stan Carter who is described as ‘opinionated’ and ‘curmudgeonly’.

A spokeswoman for EastEnders 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.”

Timothy, who recently did a stint on the cobbles in Coronation Street, said he was ‘excited’ to be taking on the role, adding: “Stan is a wonderful character and I look forward to seeing what is going to happen to him.”

He will be joined by Annette Badland who will play the family’s ‘bustling busybody’ Aunt Babe.

EastEnders 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.”