Shaun Williamson has lost 10lbs for his new role, but he won’t become a “romantic leading man”.
The former EastEnders star played hapless Barry Evans for a decade until the character was killed off in 2004.
He has now dropped some weight to help with the physical gags in new BBC Two sitcom Mister Winner.
Weight loss tips from Shaun
Shaun told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “I lost 10lbs – by drinking gin instead of beer. But I also power walk.
“Three miles to Tesco then three miles back holding the shopping. It took 10lbs off over six weeks.”
However, the 54-year-old actor insisted he won’t lose more and risk leaving his own “pool” of performers, which he said includes the likes of John Thomson, Mark Benton and Victor McGuire.
He added: “You have a type. If I go down too much I’m among the 12st actors.
“Why try to be better looking and thinner like guys my age who have looked after themselves and are known as romantic leading men?”
A new soap challenge
When asked last year if he would consider joining either of the ITV soaps, he replied to the Daily Star: “I would. They’re excellent, they do comedy very well.
“I wouldn’t mind another 10 years in a soap. I think I’d be a bit more grateful this time around.”
But Shaun believes playing such a comical character in EastEnders and then going on to portray a satirical version of himself in Extras may have ruined his chances of forging a “credible career in drama”.
Despite being more than grateful for the opportunities he received because of the sitcom, he added: “It’s cost me a credible career in drama. I realise that, I’m not stupid.”
Shaun famously portrayed loveable Barry on EastEnders for 10 years before he was pushed off a cliff by his wife, Janine.
He starred in the 2017 summer series of Celebrity Big Brother and was evicted one day before the final.
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