Gwen Taylor felt "terrified" stepping on the 'EastEnders' set for first time.
The former 'Barbara' star has joined the BBC One soap as Violet Highway, the straight-talking grandmother of Stuart (Ricky Champ) and Callum Highway (Tony Clay), and despite her years of acting experience she was nervous about her first day in Walford.
She said: "Apart from being terrified, it was surreal seeing faces that I recognise from over the years."
The 82-year-old actress was also nervous about acting alongside 'EastEnders' legend Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell).
She said: "Steve is such a presence, and I loved working with him.
"I was a bit nervous and he was so helpful.
"He made sure I was alright. He was so kind and made me feel very welcome."
Gwen - who previously played Anne Foster in 'Coronation Street' - is particularly pleased she can travel to the studios from her home after years of touring.
She added to Inside Soap magazine: "Although I've worked on a soap before, 'EastEnders' is a totally different set up, so it all felt so new.
"What's wonderful about it is that I can go in from home every day.
"I don't live too far from the studios, so the joy of being close is such a thrill.
"I've toured for a number of years, so it's really nice to be able to come home every night and look at my scripts and prepare. It's been a joy."
Gwen recently admitted she has been "desperate" to be in 'EastEnders' since the first episode in 1985.
She said: "I remember when the first episodes of 'EastEnders' launched and I was desperate to be in it, now after all these years, here I am playing a wonderful character.
"It’s fantastic and the cast are great, everybody has treated me so well and I feel extremely welcome."
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