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Jonny Freeman joins EastEnders as Dot's great-nephew Reiss

Hoping to get closer to his extended family, sparks will fly between Reiss and Sonia!

Jonny Freeman, best-known for Silent Witness, Top Boy and MI High, will join EastEnders as Dot Branning’s distant relative and great-nephew, Reiss.

His grandfather’s brother was Dot's father Bob Colwell. Though the Colwell clan only saw each other occasionally, Reiss has always wished he was closer to his extended family. Upon hearing the news of Dot’s passing, Reiss is compelled to attend her funeral and a through a shared moment of sadness there are signs of a spark between him and Sonia.

Speaking about joining EastEnders, Jonny Freeman said "I am delighted to be joining the cast of EastEnders, especially as part of the iconic Dot Branning’s extended family. Everybody has been so welcoming and I'm very lucky to have been working so closely with the lovely Natalie Cassidy who is not only a fantastic actress but a delightful person; she has very kindly helped me navigate my first few weeks."

"I hope I can do Reiss justice. He is kind but socially awkward and seeing how he manages, or doesn't manage, his early exchanges with Sonia and her nearest and dearest has been quite interesting! I’m looking forward to seeing how both audiences and the residents of Walford respond to him."

To which Executive Producer, Chris Clenshaw, added "Reiss Colwell is a somewhat studios, humble and dependable kind of guy and, like his great-aunt Dot, is incredibly kind-hearted. Jonny is a wonderful addition to the EastEnders cast; it’s a joy to see him transform into Reiss when he puts on Reiss’ reading glasses and cardigan. And we’re all excited for Sonia to have a new squeeze in the Square – it’s been a while!"

EastEnders continues Mondays to Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One

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