Emmerdale spoilers follow.
The Bill star Beth Cordingly will be joining Emmerdale as Caleb Miligan's estranged wife Ruby Fox-Miligan.
Cordingly will be making her debut in the ITV soap in January as a character described as "fiery, confident, unpredictable and a fiercely devoted mum" to her son Nicky Miligan.
The character was previously referenced as the motivation for Nicky to join Caleb's failed plot to steal Home Farm from Kim Tate earlier this year.
Caleb essentially blackmailed his son into continuing to deceive Kim and Gabby Thomas over his true identity in order to keep Ruby off the streets because of their mounting financial debts.
When Ruby actually turns up in the Dales next year, she will be more than willing to burn down the life Caleb has made for himself with his long-lost Dingle relatives.
"I’m delighted to be joining the cast of Emmerdale, it’s an enormous privilege and Ruby is a dream role," Beth said in a statement.
"She’s a firecracker and a troublemaker and I think people will love her or hate her, and I can’t wait to get stuck in with this fabulous cast."
Producer Kate Brooks has teased that Ruby is a "force of nature" who will arrive in the village with plenty of "scores to settle".
Fellow producer Laura Shaw previously hinted that Caleb's backstory with Ruby would be one of Emmerdale's biggest stories of the New Year.
"We've just heard little bits from Caleb, where he's said that it's all over between them and there's nothing going on – but is that really true?" Shaw teased.
"In the new year, we will see Ruby bursting onto our screens. She's going to be an absolute firecracker. She's going to put a real spanner into the Dingles.
"Is her and Caleb's relationship really as over as he's made out? We'll find out in the new year, I guess!"
Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.
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