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Exclusive: First Look: Harry Gold joins 'EastEnders'

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Well, well, well - what do we have here, then?

We've already had numerous EastEnders script mentions of newcomer Vanessa Gold's husband - and Jodie's father - Harry in the small number of episodes since the two females in his life set foot on the Square.

It was therefore inevitable that we'd meet such a prominent character in their lives at some point in the near future a la Ronnie and Roxy's evil dad Archie Mitchell.

With Harry, I expected something similar. I thought we'd have to wait for months - at least until Zöe Lucker begins her extended second stint - to see him for the first time.

But not with this patriarch.

Here's an exclusive first look at Harry Gold - played by Linal Haft - alongside Vanessa.

Harry Gold and Vanessa Gold from EastEnders

© BBC



Don't they look happy?!

Take a closer look...

Beneath Vanessa's brassy exterior lies a trapped housewife.

We've seen Vanessa reject umpteen phonecalls from Harry and during next Wednesday's episode, he's at it again. Anyone would think he was checking up on her!

After a sneaky fag in the car, we actually follow Vanessa into her home - a luxury Essex mansion, complete with long driveway and pillars outside the front door. Very swish. It's all material, though. Inside, a daughter she dotes on and a husband she apparently detests.

Stepping into the front door, Vanessa changes out of her high heels and into her flip-flops, before straightening the other shoes in the lineup. On her way to the kitchen, she also spots a tall ornament out of place. Happy after pushing it into its rightful position, she moves on. Sounds all a bit OCDish to me. But that's not the best bit.

Heading into the living room, Vanessa takes a deep breath and approaches a large leather armchair. At this point, I expected a Blofeld-esque non-reveal of who was slouched in it. But to my surprise, the camera panned to Harry.

First words to his loving wife? "Mine's a double."

Questioning why she smells of smoke and interrogating her over her movements for the day, Harry eventually strikes the killer blow - he reveals that he's actually spoken to the friend Vanessa claims she's been with all day. An argument below a looming family portrait ensues, before Vanessa heads to bed - alone.

As she does, Harry moves the ornament back to the edge of the table in the hallway. Controlling or what?!

The whole 'going into the bad man's lair' scenario very much reminded me of the first time we met villainous Mitchell patriarch Archie in July 2008. Mind you, that's not a bad thing. If Archie's the measure of a modern day successful soap villain, exec producer Bryan Kirkwood's onto a winner.

Hopefully, though, Harry's not a stereotypical Archie-type - even if he is another brainchild of Simon Ashdown.

Harry makes his first appearance during next Wednesday's hour-long Ashdown ep, during which Stacey gives birth and Max comes face to face with Tanya again.

Incidentally, that episode ends with Julia's Theme...

What do you think of Harry Gold? Are you looking forward to seeing more of him later in the year? Let me know your thoughts on the above using the usual form below! Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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