EastEnders‘ Ricky Groves talks about leaving Garry, Minty and Albert Square behind…

Ricky, you’ve said ‘Garry is a fool!’ but is he fool enough to take back Dawn after her fling with Phil?
“He is foolish but in life people do take other people back even when they have done terrible things. People still have forgiveness in them, and of course Garry has been taken back a few times himself.”

How does it feel to leaving Walford after nearly ten years on The Square?
“The thing that I’m not looking forward to in my next gig is, ‘Where do I put my bag?’, ‘Where do I get changed?’, ‘Where do I park the car?’ At EastEnders, it’s routine. You just come in, make a cup of tea, brush your teeth, take a phone call…”

So what’s next?
“I’ve got a few things but I can’t tell you anything about them. As much as I’d love to…”

Do you have any ambitions or dreams roles in mind?
“I’ve always said I’d like to make a film at some stage. Not necessarily be the lead or anything, just experience making a film, a little cameo role maybe.”

The Brits have done quite well in America playing the baddies or henchmen…
“I’d quite like that. You know, like Mackenzie Crook in Pirates Of The Caribbean? I know he’s got more of a Gollum-like figure but if there’s a chubby quartermaster pirate in the new one, then I want to have a go at that! I’m not saying I’m Johnny Depp, but it would be great to go and do a month on a film location and learn.”

You were a chef for 15 years and even worked in Raymond Blanc’s internationally renowned restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. That must come in handy at home…
“I’m a very good cook, a good all-rounder, so I turn my hand to anything. Myself and Hannah take it in turns. If she’s working, I’ll cook dinner and vice versa, so we halve the responsibilities.”

How’s Cliff Parisi (EastEnders’ Minty) taken your departure?
“Cliff gave me this watch. He didn’t give me the instructions, mind. It whizzes backwards and the alarm goes off at 12 o’clock every night which I think he did just to annoy me!”

And on-screen, Minty will be inconsolable when Garry leaves?
“Cliff actually added a nice touch where Minty gives Garry his watch in the show. Normally we don’t really add things because it can get confusing and affect the continuity but he added that in.”

Cliff told TV Times last year that ‘like Steptoe and Son, and Laurel and Hardy; take one of them away and the other just doesn’t work as well…’
“I think Minty’s going to be busy with his new love interest, Manda. I think that’s taken his mind off everything else!”