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Friday 15th November 2019

Former EastEnders actor John Altman reveals producer tried to "make Nick Cotton gay"

Nick died in 2015

John Altman had a showdown with a "really harsh" EastEnders producer when she tried to "make Nick Cotton gay".

The 67-year-old star played 'Nasty' Nick Cotton on and off from 1985 until the Walford villain's eventual death in 2015.

He's now revealed he once objected to a plot idea that would've seen Nick develop feelings for another man, which resulted in the star leaving the show.

John played Nasty Nick on and off for 30 years (Credit: YouTube/BBC)

He exclusively told BANG Showbiz: "They tried to make Nick Cotton gay, it was years ago now.

"I went in there straight, and so did the other guy, Lofty, who was a bit of a lovable bozo in the early days.

"Anyway, they suddenly decided that he weren't gay, they were gonna make him gay, and I didn't think that was a good idea as it would've changed Nick's character completely, really.

"So I went to the producer, I said, 'I hear you've got this idea, but I don't think it will work,'  and she said, 'Well, write him out,' and I walked away.

"She was really harsh."

As well as objecting to the idea, he didn't think the public "would've wanted" that storyline for his character.

John's character Nick was written out for a period of time (Credit: Splash)

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He said: "But, I went back. I was just written out for that period.

"If I'd have gone in playing a gay character, fine. But to suddenly make the character... I dunno, to me, as an actor, it would've been wrong.

If I'd have gone in playing a gay character, fine.

"I don't think the public would've wanted it either."

Nasty Nick died in 2015 (Credit: BBC)

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John wrote "a lot" about his EastEnders memories in his autobiography In the Nick of Time.

He added: "It's the story of John Altman, and it incorporates quite a lot about EastEnders over the years, from when I went in, up until the final death scene with Dot.

"And there's a load of stuff in it people may not know about.

"If you wanna know how Nick Cotton is quite accurate, then read the book and you'll see that I did all the research that I needed to, really."

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