Denise Van Outen in talks to fill Barbara Windsor-sized hole in EastEnders

Denise Van Outen has been holding secret talks with EastEnders bosses about joining the soap.

“It could be a brilliant casting move; she would be a perfect addition to the team with her stunning looks and hugely impressive acting credentials,” an insider told the Mirror.

Though no specific details on the role the 38-year-old star would play have been released, it is thought BBC bosses see her as a “new, young and fresh” Peggy Mitchell, the former Queen Vic landlady and Walford matriarch who was played by Barbara Windsor.

Van Outen – who has been asked to appear on the soap twice before – has previously admitted she would love to join the BBC show.

She has said: “I love EastEnders and I know quite a few people in the cast. I went to school with Nicola Stapleton (Mandy) and Samantha Womack (Ronnie). And Chris Parker, who used to play Spencer, is one of my best mates.”