Has Nasty Nick really turned saintly?

No chance, reveals John Altman who’s bringing back Nick Cotton, to EastEnders!

Picture the scene… It’s Christmas evening and there’s a knock at Dot’s front door. She’s just had the perfect Christmas with Jim home for the day and is still thinking of the joy they shared as she opens it… and suddenly her world stops as she’s greeted with the words ‘Merry Christmas Ma’ and the sight of her son Nick. It’s an entrance that will excite EastEnders fans but confuses Dot.

“She’s very frosty and doesn’t want to let him in. And with good reason. Over the years he’s lied to her, stolen from her and even tried to kill her. And, worst of all, he caused the death of the grandson she loved.”

Nick looks a bit smarter than he used to and appears to have mellowed. But has he?

“He’s out of prison, recovered from cancer and working as a plumber. On the surface it looks as if he might have turned over a new leaf.”

But Dot knows all his tricks and knows not to trust him as far as she could throw him… and she sets a trap. She plants money in the kitchen and goes out feeling sure that Nick will steal it.

“She comes back and it’s still there. Then Nick plays his trump card. Dot hears footsteps upstairs and down comes this seven-year-old girl who Nick introduces as his daughter Dotty. The actress who plays her looks just like a young Dot. It’s incredible. Anyway, she’s his daughter and we don’t know who the mother is yet but Dotty and Nick have quite a bond.”

And no doubt he’s hoping Dot and Dotty will too… only Dot then discovers a newspaper cutting from the Walford Gazette telling how she donated money for the Christmas lights. It means Nick knows she has cash…

“Dot’s instantly suspicious he’s just after her money again but Nick tells her that he only had the cutting because he wanted Dot’s picture. In any case he’s sure Dotty’s hooked Dot. He may be an evil psychopathic drug-dealing murderer but he’s quite clever too.”

So does that mean he hasn’t really changed and is up to no good again?

“We find out Nick and Dotty have been conning people so they do have a twisted plan. He’s using his daughter to win Dot over and that cannot be good…”

It’s been seven years since John left and he’s thrilled to be back.

“June Brown, who plays Dot, was very vocal to the producers about getting me back and so was Barbara Windsor (Peggy). I’m back for six months which is plenty of time for Nick to do plenty of damage. People ask me if I worry about being typecast but it’s too late – everybody already knows me as Nasty Nick!”

And possibly soap’s greatest-ever soap baddie at that!

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