Actor Joe Absalom has revealed that he very nearly did not bother auditioning for his latest role, as he was convinced he would not get the part.

The former EastEnders star is appearing alongside Hollywood legend Kevin Costner in the new miniseries Hatfields And McCoys, which begins on Channel 5 on October 25.

But recalling the audition, he said, “I was really grumpy because sometimes you go to these big castings and it’s basically 10 minutes in a room for jobs you sort of know you’re not going to get.

“But I did it and then a week later they said, ‘Don’t shave or cut your hair’, which is brilliant because I’m quite a lazy dude, and then they said I’d got it.”

The series – based on the long-running feud between two prominent families in West Virginia and Kentucky in the late 19th Century – has won a brace of Emmy Awards, including prizes for Costner and co-star Tom Berenger.

However Joe has admitted he was not prepared for his first meeting with the actor at all.

“I saw the producer talking to who I thought was a Romanian horse wrangler as he had a beard and hat on,” he said.

“I walked past and he said, ‘Oh Joe, can I introduce you to Kevin?’ I’d been planning on being really nonchalant and went, ‘Bloody hell, it’s you!'”