Ben Hardy talks EastEnders: I did what I was told back then

The actor played Peter Beale on the BBC1 soap for two years from 2013

Ben Hardy says the days of removing his top as he did on EastEnders are behind him.

The actor, 27, played Peter Beale on the BBC1 soap for two years until 2015.

Asked about one particular topless scenes during his days in Walford, he told TV show This Morning: “I suppose I was young and did what I was told back then.”

And he added: “I took off my hoodie and then my t-shirt to then give her (another character) my t-shirt and put my hoodie back on. I could have just given her my t-shirt! But there you go.”

The ex-soap star’s latest role sees him play Walter Hartright in TV drama The Woman In White.

He said he turned down the option to go shirtless in the BBC1 drama.

“I was presented with the option of nice Victorian pyjamas or to be topless and I chose the former. I think it felt, for this piece, it would have been maybe a little bit gratuitous,” he said.

And the X-Men: Apocalypse star said of quitting EastEnders: “It was a scary thing to do, but it was a leap I had to take otherwise I would have always been wondering what I could have done.”