EastEnders newcomer Sam Attwater has revealed that he was ‘shocked’ to discover how nice Ian Beale is in real life.
Sam stars as boxer Leon Small in the soap’s online spin-off EastEnders: E20, and also appears in the main terrestrial show.
He said Adam Woodyatt, who plays weasly businessman Ian, is ‘brilliant’ in person.
He was also pleasantly surprised by ‘lovely’ Steve McFadden, who plays hardman Phil Mitchell, after initially feeling intimidated by him.
Sam said: “Adam (Woodyatt) is brilliant, and Steve (McFadden) as well – of course as Phil Mitchell it’s very intimidating, and when I first came in I kept on seeing him around and going ‘alright’ and kept on walking straight past, but then as soon as you get chatting to him, he’s lovely as can be.
“When I first walked in (I was scared) because of the character, and then you get talking to him and he’s just a normal person. But Adam especially, I was really quite shocked at. A really nice guy.”
The 24-year-old, who is a lifetime EastEnders fan, was also excited about meeting Walford legend Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell), and has enjoyed getting to know Cheryl Fergison (Heather Trott) and Linda Henry (Shirley Carter).
He said: “I was really excited about everyone in their own ways but to actually meet them and expecially work with them, it sound’s corny but it’s a dream come true.”
EastEnders: E20 goes live on bbc.co.uk/eastenders on Friday January 8 at 8.30pm.