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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April 2005, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
EastEnders' Angie joins The Bill
Anita Dobson
Anita Dobson will play "tough" mum Lynne in The Bill
Actress Anita Dobson, famous for playing Angie Watts in EastEnders in the 1980s, is joining The Bill.

The 55-year-old will play the mother of maverick police detective Phil Hunter in the long-running ITV police drama from next month.

Dobson, who is married to Queen guitarist Brian May, played the Queen Vic landlady in EastEnders from 1985-8.

She always ruled out a return to the BBC One soap and her character died off-screen in 2002.

Dobson will play a "tough, no-nonsense woman" in the ITV drama, which has been running since 1984, a spokeswoman for the show said.

'Gorgeous creation'

"She finds out Phil's making a mess of his life and comes to sort him and his brother out."

The actress will join two other former EastEnders cast members who are now in The Bill - Todd Carty, who played Mark Fowler, and Roberta Taylor, who was Irene Hills.

Explaining her decision not to return to EastEnders, Dobson said: "Why tarnish the gorgeous creation that was Angie Watts?"

Since leaving Albert Square, she has had a guest role in Casualty and been seen in the recent stage production of musical Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Her on-screen husband Den, played by Leslie Grantham, made a high-profile EastEnders comeback after 14 years' absence in 2003.

But in February, Den Watts was murdered by wife Chrissie in the Queen Vic.

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