London's Burning star to make EastEnders debut this summer
Ross Boatman, who starred in long-running drama London’s Burning, is joining the cast of EastEnders.
The actor and professional poker player, 57, will make his debut this summer as Harvey Monroe, the “traditional, fiercely protective” father of Dana, played by Barbara Smith.
Monroe has cared for his daughter alone and is described as “a real family man who’s proud to have been raised in Bow and even prouder to be a dad”.
However, Dana’s relationship with Bobby Beale, played by Clay Milner Russell, is likely to cause conflict.
Boatman is best known for playing firefighter Kevin Medhurst in ITV drama London’s Burning from 1988 to 1995 before returning in 2000.
He is also a professional poker player and a member of the four-strong group known as the Hendon Mob, who have attracted media attention and appeared in various TV shows including BBC con-art documentary series The Real Hustle.
Elsewhere, Boatman has appeared in The Bill, Holby City, Casualty and most recently Grantchester.
He said: “Some actors long for all the glamour of the Hollywood hills. Others dream about the bright lights of London’s West End. All I ever wanted was jellied eels, Albert Square and a cheeky pint at The Queen Vic.
“Words can hardly express how happy and excited I am to be here at last. I absolutely love the show and can’t wait to get started. I feel truly blessed.”
Executive producer Jon Sen said: “We can’t wait for Ross to join us in Albert Square as Harvey.
“He’s perfect to play the affable father to Dana who’s over the moon his daughter’s found a match in Bobby but secrets aren’t likely to stay hidden on the Square so Bobby’s attempts at reinvention may well be futile.
“We’re looking forward to Harvey’s arrival, he’ll certainly shake up the Beale family dynamics.”