This morning, EastEnders have announced that Mel Owen’s ex-husband Ray Kelly will be headed to Albert Square, with Sean Mahon stepping into the role. Also the step-father to her son Hunter, Ray is described as a man who has “the gift of the gab when it comes to getting what he wants”, but is also said to be a “serial risk-taker and expert liar.”

Sean Mahon as Ray Kelly / Credit: BBC

Sean Mahon as Ray Kelly / Credit: BBC

The character’s chequered past has already been hinted at with the prior introduction of Ray’s sister Ciara, who was also the ex-wife of Irish gangster Aidan Maguire. With Hunter’s secret contact with Ray, and his complaints that he doesn’t think Jack is good enough for his mother, there could be major trouble ahead for Walford’s residents.

Speaking about joining the show, Mahon said: “I remember watching the very first episode of EastEnders back in 1985, little did I think I would be roaming the streets of Walford and hanging out at The Queen Vic all these years later.

“I’m so happy to join such an incredibly hard-working and talented team and I’m very much looking forward to playing out the drama that inevitably ensues on any given day in Albert Square. My character, Ray Kelly is not one to tread lightly and his arrival to the Square will cause shockwaves for many of the residents… it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Executive Consultant on the soap, John Yorke added: “Sean is both a wonderful actor and a delight to work with. His character brings to the show some very big secrets and we can’t wait to watch them explode.”

Mahon has already started filming his EastEnders scenes, and will first appear on screens a little later this summer.

EastEnders continues throughout the week on BBC One.

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