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How ex-‘EastEnders’ hardman actually loves kids’ TV shows

Former ‘EastEnders’ actor John Altman loves watching children’s TV favourites credit:Bang Showbiz
Former ‘EastEnders’ actor John Altman loves watching children’s TV favourites credit:Bang Showbiz

Former ‘EastEnders’ actor John Altman loves watching children’s TV favourites.

Despite his character Nasty Nick on the BBC One soap being renowned as one of its most vicious, the 71-year-old star said in reality he is a fan of shows including ‘Peppa Pig’ and ‘Igglepiggle’.

John – who was also in ‘An American Werewolf in London’ and ‘Quadrophenia’ – said about how he loves watching the children's TV shows with his young granddaughter Lily: “When I had pneumonia I sat back and watched ‘In The Night Garden’.

“I found it quite soothing. I watch ‘Peppa Pig’ with my granddaughter.”

Dad-of-one John, who is currently starring as pantomime baddie Abanazar in ‘Aladdin’ is best known for portraying Dot Cotton’s drug-addicted son Nick in ‘EastEnders’ for 30 years from the first episode in 1985.

The character died from a heroin overdose in 2015 after he tried to kill his mum Dot, played by the late June Brown.

‘In The Night Garden’, which features hyperactive cuddly character Igglepiggle, and ‘Peppa Pig’ are crowd-pleasers for nursery age children.

John recently said he thought Dot’s ‘EastEnders’ funeral episode was too short.

He was left devastated after his onscreen mum died aged 95 in 2022 and was among the viewers who tuned in to see her character’s memorial service on the BBC soap when it aired in December last year.

But he told the Daily Star: “It seemed to be quite quick. They should have done an hour-long episode to pay homage to her. They could have put in some old scenes from over the years.

“But I do think they did June justice. I liked the cigarettes being thrown onto the coffin. June would have liked that.”

John attended June’s real-life funeral after her death and said it was strange subsequently watching her character’s memorial on TV.

He added: "It was quite bizarre. I went to her real funeral and then I watched the one on TV. I was quite moved by it. I found it very emotional.”