Former EastEnders bad boy Nigel Harman is up to his old tricks again when he joins the cast of Sky1 comedy drama Mount Pleasant this week…

Nigel plays Bradley, a wheeler dealer who leaves London in a hurry and rocks up in the close with his wife Tanya (fellow EastEnder Samantha Womack – above) and their young daughter Ella…

Tell us a little bit about Bradley..

“He’s arrived in Manchester under slightly mysterious circumstances. Bradley’s line of work is a little suspect and he got a little bit close to the fire, so we decided we needed to move. I think we’re trying to keep a low profile but it’s not working out! We throw a party immediately and everyone gets absolutely smashed.” 

What are Bradley and Tanya like as a couple?

“They’re very passionate and physical with each other! One minute they’re at each other’s throats and the next things are brilliant. They’re trying to be good parents but they’re not going to make any handbooks. Arguably the smartest person in the family is daughter Ella!”

Is Bradley as naughty as your EastEnders character Dennis Rickman?

“He has been in prison, but he’s more of an opportunist than a career criminal. If you want something he can get it for you, but there’s a little bit of a shadow around him. Things get a bit darker as we go on!”

What was it like joining a cast of Northerners?

“I thought I was doing a Northern accent and then I realised I wasn’t – which was a relief!”

You and Samantha never worked on EastEnders at the same time, did you know each other at all beforehand?

“We didn’t actually. We met once at the Piccadilly theatre because we both did Guys and Dolls – although once again, not at the same time! We have lots of mutual friends, which is always the way when you get as old as we do! But this is the first time we’ve worked together.”

What made you decide to join the show?

“I’m an out of the closet David Bradley fan so I’d watched some of the show and I liked it. He was the person that made me say yes. I asked him what it was like and he said; ‘It’s great fun – you’ve got to do it Nige!'”

…and you’ll be appearing in the new series of Downton Abbey!

“Yes, I’m playing a valet – that’s a valet with a ‘T’, to say it the other way is American apparently. I play a valet to Lord Gillingham, a friend of the Crawley family, who’s played by Tom Cullen. He’s incredible. He’s a bit of a dark warrior. He’s very charming and then he’s not. He has no redeeming features at all..”

You do seem to play a lot of villains!

“I know! I must have a villainous face!”

We hear George Sampson has been showing you some moves?

“Not exactly! I’m not sure I could pull any of his stunts off. I remember once upon a time I used to be the young buck on set. Those days are well and truly gone! I came on set the other day and George was doing back somersaults all over the place – he’s extraordinary.”

Mount Pleasant returns on Wednesday September 11 at 9pm on Sky1.