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EastEnders reveals first pics of Brookside villain Paul Usher as new Walford baddie

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EastEnders has had its fair share of mean-looking villains over the years, but few have been as hotly anticipated as the arrival of Danny Hardcastle – he even has ‘hard’ in his name for goodness sakes!

Step aside Phil Mitchell and Stuart Highway, as there’s a new baddie coming to Walford and he’s got form!

Paul Usher joins EastEnders as Danny Hardcastle
Paul Usher joins EastEnders as Danny Hardcastle (Credit: BBC)

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Earlier this week, the BBC soap announced that Brookside legend Paul Usher would be arriving in Albert Square for a short spell – but he’s set to make quite an impact in that time.

And here are the first photos of him in character…

Fifty-seven-year-old actor Paul – who played Barry Grant in Brookside – will arrive in the East End as dodgy businessman Danny for a short stint later this spring.

Paul Usher joins EastEnders as Danny Hardcastle
What’s Danny hiding under his respectable looking jacket? (Credit: BBC)

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The seemingly charming Danny arrives in Walford with some unfinished business to sort out with Phil Mitchell, which can only end in trouble…

Viewers know that Phil’s trips to Spain often involve something illegal, but it seems this time Phil’s dodgy dealings have followed him back to Walford.

Will Phil be able to help Danny find what he’s looking for? And how is Keanu involved in all this? Or is Danny’s appearance connected to Ben Mitchell’s return?

Brookside legend Paul Usher joins EastEnders
Barry Grant was the character we all loved to hate in Brookside (Credit: C4)

Paul is no stranger to fearsome bad boys after portraying Barry, the character we all loved to hate, in Brookside from 1982 to 2003.

After wreaking havoc in Brookside Close, Paul then found himself on the other side of the law as PC Des Taviner in The Bill for three years.

A source told the Daily Star Sunday: “It is only a for a short stint but they wanted to make sure they cast the right actor and they thought he was perfect for the role.”

Paul Usher was on the right side of the law in The Bill (Credit: ITV)
Paul was on the right side of the law in The Bill (Credit: ITV)

The insider added: “There is a lot of drama ahead for the Mitchells. Some of the stuff coming up will really keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

“Paul’s character will be involved in some dark scenes with Phil and Ben.”

Soap fans were thrilled to hear about the casting, with one tweeting: “OMFG, I’m seriously hoping it’s true. I’ve seen a couple of pics of the new Ben Mitchell in EastEnders filming with Keanu and what looked to be Paul Usher aka Barry Grant from Brookside. Please be true. Think he’d be a great addition to the cast.”

Another said: “As a teenager I had the biggest crush ever on Paul Usher. AKA Barry Grant from Brookside. I don’t watch soaps these days, however he has joined the cast of EastEnders. I might have to tune in… Still a hunky chunk of manhood.”

“Cannot wait for this,” said a third. “He’ll always be Barry Grant to me though.  #Brookside #EastEnders.”

Are you keen to see Paul Usher join EastEnders? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!