Lee Mead has revealed his excitement at joining the cast of Casualty, in his first full-time screen role.
The musical theatre star, who made a guest appearance on the BBC hospital drama in 2011, will play nurse Lofty, a "likeable and popular nurse with a less-than-ordinary background".
"I'm thrilled to be joining Casualty. I really enjoyed my guest appearance in 2011, but this will be a completely different challenge," he said.
The 32-year-old singer added: "When I first read about the character Lofty I didn't imagine I would be in the frame to play him. I am hoping he will charm audiences and they will get behind him. I can't wait to get started and to learn all of the medical jargon!"
Lee will start filming at BBC Cymru Wales' Roath Lock Studios in coming months, and viewers will be able to see him on screen for the first time in early 2014.
The show's executive producer Oliver Kent said: "As the character Lofty was being developed, we couldn't think of anyone else to better to play him. We can't wait to start filming and are thrilled to have Lee join the team. With a very different background to most of the other nurses, his clumsy charm is sure to win everyone over."
Former Footballers' Wives actor Jamie Davis will also join the cast later this year as "cool, laid-back" porter Max.
Lee, who won talent show Any Dream Will Do in 2007 and has released three albums, announced his split from wife Denise Van Outen in July. The couple - who met on the ITV singing contest, where she was a judge - have a three-year-old daughter Betsy together.