Hollyoaks actor James Sutton, who plays John-Paul McQueen, told whatsontv.co.uk his recent criticism of EastEnders was in defence of his fellow cast members.

James described the BBC One soap as ‘abysmal and depressing’, but he was singing a different song at the National TV Awards on Wednesday night.

“I did say something I possibly shouldn’t have, yeah,” he said on the red carpet. “I have apologised, profusely. I was just responding to a comment someone made about us not being proper actors… and that’s nonsense.

“We’re all on the same team. We all do exactly the same job.”

James, 24, was nominated as Most Popular Actor for his role in Hollyoaks, but lost to Doctor Who star David Tennant.

VIDEO: Watch Hollyoaks star James Sutton at the National TV Awards.

Or click below to watch James on YouTube.