Former Emmerdale star Nigel Betts says he still gets recognised in the street – despite leaving the show more than three years ago.

The actor, who played Bob Hope’s burgling brother Eddie, also said when he was a regular fixture in the soap he couldn’t do any shopping because of attention from fans.

He told itv.com: “I have to say it is amazing how big Emmerdale is nationally and how many people watch it because I left over three years ago and still people will stop me in a pub and recognise me as Eddie.” Nigel is due to return to Emmerdale next week.

He said: “It will all be rekindled soon. I will have to stop going to supermarkets, it will take twice as long to get my shopping done.”

He added: “In his (Eddie) time away he has been quite successful, so from walking off into the sunset with his tights he has become a sales manager. He has actually come back to offer Bob a job.”

Nigel was last seen breaking into the village’s Post Office in a bid to stage a robbery before leaving Emmerdale.

Nigel has had a busy 12 months, with parts in EastEnders, Silent Witness, Casualty and Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. He has also just finished a film with Catherine Tate called Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution, in which he plays Catherine’s brother.