EastEnders has cast award-winning actress Ann Mitchell as Tanya Branning’s long-lost mum Cora Cross.

Brash Cora turns up out of the blue at Tanya’s Easter wedding, having been secretly invited by Tanya’s fiance Gregg Jessop (Stefan Booth).

But Tanya (Jo Joyner) is even more shocked that Cora’s arrived with her crack addict sister Rainie (Tanya Franks), who fled the Square last year following her drug-fuelled fling with Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

The show’s website said: “Cora says what is on her mind no matter who she offends. She thinks Tanya has become a snob. But she has a secret mission – to build a bridge between Tanya and Rainie.”

Ann – who also appeared in the soap as Roy Evans’ first wife Jane – said: “As a lifelong fan of EastEnders, I’m thrilled to join the cast.”

She added: “I am a great fan of June Brown’s and I’m looking forward to sharing some scenes with her.”

Bryan Kirkwood, executive producer of EastEnders, said: “I’m very excited to have the much-loved Ann Mitchell joining us.

“Cora Cross is a formidable woman, cut from the same cloth as many glorious Walford women of the past, and Ann Mitchell is just perfect for the role.”

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