As devious Danny Pennant returns to EastEnders, actor Gary Lucy reveals to TV Times magazine how he has a head for business on and off-screen…

You’re returning to EastEnders as ex-banker Danny, but we understand – like him – you also know a thing or two about investment!

“When I was 17 and in Hollyoaks, I was introduced by James Redmond, who played Finn, to a financial advisor. James was older than me, and I think he noticed that I was frittering money away and thought ‘I’ve got to help him out.’ This guy helped me and showed me different investment opportunities. I bought my first place, sold it, put the profit into two more and it went on from there.”

Why do you enjoy doing it?

“I absolutely love acting, but I think it’s important to keep busy. And I’m mindful of the fact that I’ve got two young kids and want to make sure that I can secure their future as much as possible.”

Coming back to Walford, Danny has lost his job in the City and hopes to get the cash rolling in again by teaming up with Janine. But her estranged husband Michael isn’t impressed that she has the hots for this handsome new arrival!

“Michael is adamant that Danny is gay, so he isn’t a threat in that respect. But, as the weeks go on, things unravel. Nothing is as it seems with Danny, and that is the key at the moment.”

You made it into the longlist for ‘Best Villain’ at this year’s British Soap Awards. Do you see yourself as a classic EastEnders baddie?

“I don’t see him as a villain at all. He’d use people for his own personal gain, definitely, but he’s more of a ducker and a diver, and is quite charming.”

We also understand that your partner, Natasha, is a paediatric nurse…

“I’m a patron of a children’s hospice called Haven House and that’s where she works, providing end of life or respite care. It puts things into perspective. There’s just a few, gifted people who can do a job like that, and she is one of them. I’m totally in awe of what she does.”