Bobby Davro is joining EastEnders as a loveable rogue who programme makers hope will fill the gap left by Alfie Moon.
The comedian will play Vince Monks, who begins a romance with barmaid and bad girl Shirley Carter.
“I’m really chuffed and looking forward to becoming a soap opera luvvie,” Bobby told The Sun.
He begins filming this week, and his first scenes are due to reach our screens in late September or early October.
His character is being hailed as the new Alfie, who was played by another comedian, Shane Richie.
A BBC insider said: “Vince is a chip off the old block from characters like Alfie and Frank Butcher. He’s lived quite a life and drives a flash car – but all is not quite what it seems. It’s not all kosher.”
Vince literally sweeps Shirley, played by Linda Henry, off her feet when he knocks her over as he races through Albert Square.
He soon falls for her, but Shirley takes some winning over.
“Vince likes a challenge – and he’ll have a big one on his hands trying to get Shirley to crack a smile. She’s going to find him very irritating,” the source said.
Bobby, 48, first became a TV star through doing impressions on BBC show Who Do You Do? in the Eighties.
He more recently appeared in the video for Peter Kay’s Comic Relief single I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).