Janine's in for a shock... from Grandma

Tuesday 15 February 2011, 00:00

Matt Humphreys Matt Humphreys Editorial Lead

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Margaret Tyzack

Twisted, manipulative and damaged - all words you could use to describe Janine. Well, prepare to meet her maternal grandmother Lydia Simmonds, who will be played by famed theatre actor Margaret Tyzack.

A lady of class and dignity, Lydia loved her daughter June to death and couldn't stand the man she ran off with - common as muck Frank Butcher. Growing old alone, Lydia has a got a bit of a reputation with her neighbours and she's resigned herself to a life of solitude as her big house slowly crumbles around her.

Having been estranged for years, Janine is shocked to have Lydia back in her life but she's intrigued as to where it might lead. Does Janine want to look after her Grandmother during her ill health, or does she have more sinister motives? Sounds like a battle we can't wait to see on screen.

Margaret Tyzack has taken many prestigious stage roles and has received two Olivier awards, a Tony award and numerous other accolades for her theatre performances. She has appeared in two Stanley Kubrick films; 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange and is also famed for her memorable roles in The Forsyte Saga, I, Claudius and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.Most recently she has appeared at Le Chatelet Opera in Paris and in My Fair Lady.

Margaret says; "I am delighted to be joining a great British tradition and a fine company of actors".

Bryan Kirkwood, EastEnders Executive Producer, added: "What a coup to have Margaret Tyzack starring in EastEnders. She is an actress of incredible class and talent. Lydia has endless possibilities as a character, and I can't wait to see Janine meet her match."

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