Television favourite Pauline Quirke is joining the cast of Emmerdale, it was announced today.
The actress, who famously starred in Birds Of A Feather, will play Hazel, the mother of Aaron Livesy's love interest, Jackson Walsh.
A teacher by trade, Hazel has flitted between countries since splitting from Jackson's father.
She arrives in Emmerdale on what is meant to be a flying visit, and catches the eye of a newly single stranger.
However, events conspire to keep her longer in the village than planned as the character gets caught up in a major storyline affecting Aaron (Danny Miller) and Jackson (Marc Silcock) this winter.
Quirke (50) said: "I'm really looking forward to joining the show. My mum was a fan back when it was called Emmerdale Farm, so it's always been a part of my life.
"The show has really moved on. It's consistently good, there are some great characters and great storylines. I've especially loved Aaron's story. I've never done anything like this before so it's something different for me and I'm very happy to be a part of it."
As well as playing Sharon alongside Linda Robson's Tracey in Birds Of A Feather, Quirke has starred in shows including Cold Blood, Carrie's War and Missing.
The actress begins filming Emmerdale in June and hits screens in August.
Series producer Gavin Blyth said: "I am absolutely delighted that Pauline will be joining Emmerdale at such an exciting time.
"She is a fantastic actor who I know will do justice to this character.
"Alongside Aaron and Jackson, she will be at the centre of an enormous and gripping storyline this autumn/winter. One to really look forward to."
Other recent signings at the ITV1 soap include former Hear'Say star Suzanne Shaw, and Cutting It actor Jason Merrells.