Brookside legend Paul Usher joins EastEnders to play scouse hardman on Albert Square

BROOKSIDE legend Paul Usher is joining the cast of EastEnders.

The 57-year-old soap actor – who is best known for playing Barry Grant on Brookside – will play a scouse hardman on Albert Square in a string of episodes this spring.

A show insider told the Daily Star: “Producers were keen to get Paul on board.

“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.”

The guest stint comes 36 years after Paul made his name on Brookside.

He played Barry on the Channel 4 soap on and off until the soap’s final episode aired in 2003.

TV fans will also recognise him from playing DS Des Taviner on The Bill for three years until 2004.

Paul will be thrown into the thick of a dramatic story line alongside Steve McFadden, who plays Phil Mitchell, and Max Bowden, who plays Ben.

Paul is thrilled to be back on a big show. Even if it’s a small role, it’s still a very big deal for him,” the source added.

“He cannot wait for his episodes to air.”