EastEnders‘ Timothy West tells Soaplife how Stan goes from a hospital bed to a bed at the Vic – and how he’s hoping to stay put there int he BBC1 soap.

Why is Stan in hospital?

“Because of my own real injury, a broken ankle. When I did that, EastEnders wrote in an accident for Stan. Having your ankle pinned means you spend quite a lot of time in plaster.”

Tina brings Stan back to the Vic so she can keep an eye on him… Is he grateful?

“He manages to offend everyone because he hasn’t got any kind of social tact at all. There are members of the family he finds more congenial than others. He likes Johnny, but struggles with the fact that he’s gay. After a couple of very rude outbursts about both Tina and Johnny being gay, he warms to them both.”

And does Mick struggle with Stan?

“I think Mick blames Stan for many of the things that have gone wrong for him. He’s thrown out of the pub a few times, but keeps managing to get back in. It’s all so complicated, but we are finding out more about their past history. I’m constantly being surprised by new developments. It’s fascinating.”

Do you hope that Stan’s family will warm towards him?

“I don’t like the brittleness, but I assume it has to be there. When Tina is kind to him, he likes that. But he wants them to be a warm and respectful family on his terms. He wants to be the first person that the rest of them consider. The rest of the family don’t see it that way, of course. It’s a shame as he’s lonely. He’s getting towards the end of his life and he has very few friends.”