10:25 26 September 2006
Viewers of EastEnders should keep a beady eye on the anonymous background drinkers in Albert Square's pub The Queen Vic. For Hollywood star Sir Michael Caine could soon be spotted sinking a pint and nodding at publican Peggy Mitchell's saloon bar banter.
The Oscar-winning star of Alfie, Zulu and the Italian Job has confessed to a previously unknown passion for the long-running BBC soap opera.
He admits that he is an avid EastEnders viewer - and the 73-year-old Rotherhithe born actor adds that he would be delighted to accept a cameo role alongside his old friend Barbara Windsor, who plays The Queen Vic's matriarch Peggy Mitchell.
In London at the weekend for promotional work on his new film Children Of Men, Caine confirmed that he would be up for a fleeting minor appearance in fictional Walford.
He said: "I do watch the show. I think that Babs Windsor is great but, in all honesty, I don't think anyone has ever offered me a role, so who knows? If they did I might just say yes."
It would not be the first time a celebrity has played a walk-on part in the soap.
Little Britain star David Walliams was a fake registrar at the civil wedding of Kath and Alfie, while singer Robbie Williams also made a cameo appearance in Albert Square.
But it's ITV's rival show Coronation Street that has the edge on celebrity cameos.
Comedian Peter Kay was seen spotted on a date with Shelly Barlow, Status Quo's Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi appeared in Corrie - as did distinguished thespian Sir Ian McKellan. And in 1997 Sir Cliff Richard was filmed sipping a pint in the Rovers Return.
Says a BBC source: "We do have the occasional cameo appearance by well-known faces but so far we haven't had a Hollywood star. With his London roots Michael would fit in perfectly. He could play himself making a visit to see old friends."
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