The ex Benidorm actor, who made his Walford debut last week as mechanic Keanu Taylor, says he only took up drama because he was too fat to play football...

EastEnders newcomer Danny Walters, who plays Keanu Taylor, has revealed how he was overweight as a teenager, and only got into acting because he was too tubby to play football.

Referring to his ‘dark days’, the 24-year-old says he weighed around 16 stone between the ages of 14 and 18, and was urged to give drama a go by his mum, who candidly told him that he wasn’t fit enough to become a footballer.

“My older brother was always the athletic one, the good-looking one, the one who got the girls,” said Danny. “He played football, so I wanted to play football. My mum sat me down and said: ‘Bless you darlin’, you’re a bit too fat. How about going to drama school?’

“She took me to my first class, and I hated it, but she said ‘Go again.’ The second time, I met a friend, James, who’s a long-time friend of mine now. So I only went back to please my mum and to be with James, because I didn’t care about the acting.”

As the Taylor’s move into their new home, Karen gives her kids a pep talk. Karen Taylor (LORRAINE STANLEY), Bernadette Taylor (CLAIR NORRIS), Keanu Taylor (DANNY WALTERS)

 

The Walford heartthrob, who previously starred in ITV comedy Benidorm, said he finally got the acting bug when he and his friends did a production of Bugsy Malone.

“I played, ironically, Fat Sam,” he joked. “Hearing the audience clap or laugh, that completely just changed it and that was it. Ever since then, I’ve just wanted to have that feeling of having a reaction on someone, and to tell a story, essentially.”

Danny arriving for the 2015 National Television Awards at the O2 Arena, London.

 

Danny as Tiger in ITVs Benidorm

Watch Danny in EastEnders, 7.30pm, BBC1