New EastEnders’ hunk Don Gilet is Chelsea’s long-lost dad Lucas – but she isn’t exactly running into his arms, as he explains…

So, where has Lucas been all the years he’s been apart from his daughter?
“Lucas left Denise just after she had Chelsea and didn’t have any contact with her until she tracked him down a short while ago.”

At that time, Chelsea ran away before Lucas got a chance to say a word. So has he been hoping to find her again?
“Chelsea showing up was a moment Lucas had been waiting on for a long time. He’s a pastor and knew he would have to face his past one day. He thought Chelsea turning up was divine intervention and thinks the same thing when Patrick gets in touch.”

Lucas must be gutted then when Chelsea makes it clear she doesn’t want him in her life?
“He tries to talk to Chelsea and tells her he’s changed. He’s not the 17-year-old lad who left Denise in search of the bling and got involved in gangs and drug dealing.”

How does Lucas try to convince Chelsea he’s changed?
“He wants to have a relationship with her and asks to take her out for her birthday. He says he’ll wait outside Patrick’s house at nine and won’t knock if she doesn’t appear. The question is can she forgive him for walking away when she was just a baby?”

And what about Denise? Will Lucas want to rebuild his relationship with her as well?
“I think he’d like to make peace with her. He loved Denise. They grew up on the same rough estate and were a couple of dreamers. Lucas was bright and had it all going for him but he took the wrong path.”

What happened?
“After he left Denise, he went on to have a drug-fuelled relationship. Then his religious mate Jordan got killed because of him and he decided to turn his life around. He’ll want to show Denise he’s a changed man but he realises how difficult it will be for her to accept he’s back.”

This is your first soap after TV dramas such as 55 Degrees North. Are you here to stay?
“I hope so. Soaps are a different discipline. It’s like new shoes… you like to wear them but they’re a bit squeaky at first.”