EastEnders is set for a change in the New Year, as two new faces step into Albert Square.

Former Footballers’ Wives actor Chucky Venn – best known for his villainous roles in The Bourne Ultimatum and The Dark Knight – will be joining the BBC soap in January 2012 as Ray Dixon, the ex-boyfriend of Bianca (Patsy Palmer) and dad of Morgan (Devon Higgs).

Ray makes his entrance after Whitney (Shona McGarty) contacts him as she thinks that he should contribute more to Morgan’s upbringing – not realising that he doesn’t even know that he has a son.

“I have had the pleasure of working on many great productions with fantastic artistes such as Morgan Freeman and I have to say working on EastEnders feels like it is up there with the best of them.

“EastEnders is etched in British history and it is an honour and a pleasure to be part of it,” Chucky told EastEnders’ official website.

Meanwhile, Ian Beale’s daughter Lucy – played by newcomer Hetti Bywater (pictured) – will be returning to Walford in January after a year away, and is tipped to bring trouble, especially after finding out about her dad’s new living arrangements with Mandy (Nicola Stapleton).

Hetti said: “I’m really excited to be joining such an iconic show as EastEnders, especially becoming part of the Beale household. I’m looking forward to find out what’s in store for Lucy and seeing what she’s going to get up to when she returns to Walford.”