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EastEnders‘ Jamie Borthwick and Harry Reid were lavish in their praise of screen dad Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell), explaining that while he’s a waste of time on screen, off screen he’s a true father figure.

The actors, who play Jay Brown and Ben Mitchell in the BBC1 soap, told What’s on TV just how brilliant it is to work with him.

Jamie said: “He helps us not just with work and acting, but in loads of other stuff.”

Harry added: “In life.”

Jamie continued: “Just you know, we’re 21 and 23 years old and we’re buying property, just things like that… The realities of dealing with being on a soap, he’s just fantastic, we can’t ask for much more in terms of a father figure.”

Not only that, the lads rate him highly as an actor, even when he’s an alcoholic mess, like right now.

“Oh yeah he’s in a terrible state,” said Jamie, “but equally [Steve] is the best drunk actor I’ve ever seen, ever, on television, in any film. He’s absolutely brilliant and I’m looking forward to him shining even more.”

Watch the interview with Jamie Borthwick and Harry Reid, above.

EastEnders won Best Serial Drama at the 2016 NTAs.