Europe has been a place of battles and political intrigue for centuries.
As we approach a vote on the UK's membership of the European Union, we look at what 50 writers, actors, historians, artists and comedians have said about Europe and its nations.
"Richard's an authentic Londoner and a terrific actor, bringing with him warmth, humour and energy which will add so many layers to this 21st-century East Enders villain.
The status quo in the Square is about to be well and truly shaken," he added.
"East Enders is a show I've grown up watching so to film on Albert Square is something I'll never get used to," said Blackwood.
"To know my first ever scene will be a live one hopefully means the team believe in me and I won't let them down!
In 2001, he featured in Chris Morris's hoax show Brass Eye, in which a number of celebrities, including pop star Phil Collins and ITN correspondent Nicholas Owen, were duped into endorsing fake anti-paedophile campaigns.
After being declared bankrupt in 2007, Blackwood found work on the West End stage, starring in the Tennessee Williams play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and playing the role of Donkey in the 2011 production of Shrek the Musical.
East Enders LIVE will start on Monday 16 February 2015 The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?" Blackwood, 42, had a UK number 3 single in 2000 with the hit Mama Who Da Man.He also starred in the BBC's Holby City and played the title character in the 2002 television series Ed Stone Is Dead.
Comedian and actor Richard Blackwood is to join the cast of East Enders - and will make his debut in a live scene this February.
The 42-year-old will play a new Walford villain and is set to first appear next month during the BBC1 soap's 30th anniversary week.