Former LA Law star Amanda Donohoe is joining the cast of Emmerdale.

The actress plays one half of ‘sexy new couple’ Natasha and Mark Wylde, who retire to the country.

Amanda’s husband is played by Scottish actor, Grease 2 star Maxwell Caulfield, 48, who has also appeared in Dynasty and Beverly Hills 90210.

Golden Globe-winning actress Amanda, 46, has also starred in Frasier, Murder City and Bad Girls.

On stage, she replaced Jerry Hall as Mrs Robinson in The Graduate in 2001.

She won her Golden Globe for LA Law, the show in which in 1991 her attorney character CJ Lamb took part in what was billed as the first lesbian kiss on US television.

The British actress said of her new role: “I’m very excited about joining one of Britain’s best-loved soaps.

“I’m hoping the next few months will deliver some intriguing new storylines and I’m looking forward to galloping across the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and of course a pint (of Champagne) at the Woolie.”

Maxwell said: “This role was just too tempting to turn down and I can’t wait to start filming in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

“Mark’s complexities will be an interesting addition to life in Emmerdale.”

Series producer Anita Turner said: “I’m thrilled to be welcoming two actors of such high calibre to the cast.

“Amanda and Maxwell will be at the centre of some of our most gripping storylines next year and will be bringing some compelling drama to the Dales.”

The couple make their debut on the ITV soap at Christmas.