Leslie, 71, played “Dirty” Den Watts in the soap.

Former EastEnders star Leslie Grantham is fighting for his life, according to reports.

The 71-year-old, who played “Dirty” Den Watts in the soap, is reportedly in a critical condition in the UK having returned from Bulgaria where he had been living.

According to The Sun, Leslie has been visited in hospital by close friends in the industry.

According to reports, former EastEnders star Leslie Grantham is fighting for his life in hospital (Yui Mok/PA)
According to reports, former EastEnders star Leslie Grantham is fighting for his life in hospital

A representative for the actor asked for his privacy to be respected while a spokeswoman told The Sun: “It’s true that Leslie is very poorly.”

Leslie left the UK after splitting with his wife of 31 years, Jane. In 2010, he spent time in Bulgaria filming TV series The English Neighbour.

Leslie shot to fame while playing Den in EastEnders, originally from 1985 to 1989.

Leslie Grantham shot to fame while playing
He is well known for playing Den Watts in EastEnders

A 1986 Christmas Day episode of the soap drew in an audience of more than 30 million viewers, who watched as Den handed over divorce papers to his  wife, Angie (played by Anita Dobson).

The character was apparently killed off in 1989 but Leslie made a shock return to Albert Square in 2003.