Sean Mahon has joined 'EastEnders'.

Sean Mahon

Sean Mahon

The 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' actor will appear as Mel Owen's (Tamzin Outhwaite) ex Ray Kelly - who has been mentioned on numerous occasions since she returned earlier this year - when he heads to Albert Square later this summer.

He is quoted by The Sun's TV Bizarre column as saying: "I'm so happy."

Sean is no stranger to starring in big TV shows after appearing in 'ER' as a community hospital doctor, and he has also starred alongside Johnny Depp in movie 'Dark Shadows', and Cillian Murphy in 2016 war film 'Anthropoid'.

Mel returned to Albert Square in January alongside her teenage son Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter), 16 years after she last graced Walford with her presence, and Tamzin admitted a month later that she struggled to learn her lines on her comeback.

Speaking in February, she said: "The biggest challenge of going back was the line learning. I have been filming today all day and I was filming scenes I only got in the last day or so. You have to learn so quickly."

And the former 'New Tricks' star believes soap stars are still some of the hardest-working actors in the business.

She said: "I have the utmost respect for actors who work in serial dramas as you can carry around 16 scripts at one time.

"Nobody in other dramas has that much to learn."

Tamzin also revealed series producer John Yorke spent three months trying to convince her to agree to return to the programme.

She said: "I wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't for him I don't think.

"He was my boss and I know that he had the show well covered when we were doing it and it was a great time to be in the programme so I got quite excited when he asked me.

"It took about three months to say a definite 'yes' but during that time I couldn't get the voice out of my head of 'oh going back to EastEnders'."