There was a new addition to Peter Kay’s Car Share last night – who really got fans talking.
And not just because she was drunk, foul-mouthed, flirtatious, asthmatic – and painted bright blue!
Supermarket worker Elsie is the latest character to join the smash hit sitcom. Loud and outrageous and from Northern Ireland, she works alongside John (Peter Kay) and Kayleigh (Sian Gibson).
Read more: Corrie fave to return?
And Elsie went down a storm with viewers, as John gave her and Kayleigh a lift home after their works fancy dress party.
While he was dressed as Harry Potter and his love interest was a bearded Hagrid, it was the over-sized Smurf who had viewers intrigued.
Some fans were convinced that it was Peter himself who was behind the facepaint, perhaps following in the footsteps of the famous transgender Northern Irish dinner lady character Geraldine he’d played before.
So when the actor’s name appeared in the credits at the end of the show, viewers were gobsmacked. As it turned out that Elsie was being played by Game Of Thrones star Conleth Hill!
Yes – the man behind the Smurf is better known for his performance as the scheming Lord Varys. Sometimes referred to as The Spider, Lord Varys is a master manipulator and has been a part of the hit show for six series.
And while Conleth might play a eunuch in the epic drama, as Elsie he had to flirt wildly with John – inviting him in for a Pot Noodle and a bath…
But that’s obviously nothing Conleth couldn’t handle, as the Northern Irishman has also won Laurence Olivier Awards for his stage work.
Fans took to Twitter to share their surprise at the big reveal, with one saying “Just realised the drunken smurf in Car Share is Lord Varys from Game of Thrones. Talk about versatile!” and another adding “Was anyone aware that the Smurf lady in Peter Kay’s car share was Varys from GOT?! #mindblown”
Read more: EastEnders’ newcomer set to cause trouble
The second series of Car Share is already proving as much of a hit as the first, winning big ratings and lots of praise. And outrageous Elsie certainly helped, with one fan writing “Only Peter Kay could write a character like Elsie the asthmatic smurf! So funny! #carshare.”
All four episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.