EASTENDERS' Nasty Nick actor John Altman has slammed the soap saying it has "too many characters" now.
The 68-year old actor was among the very first cast members of EastEnders, making his debut as Dot Cotton's wayward son in the first episode in February 1985 and appeared as a recurring character for decades.
But the Albert Square legend has now blasted the soap, claiming it has too many characters and episodes.
The actor admitted that he couldn't keep up with the lives of the on-screen characters in the popular BBC soap.
John explained: “There’s too many episodes. People do have lives to lead. I don’t know how people keep up with it.
"There are other things in life, there’s a lot more. I’d rather be exploring the planet I think than watching a soap opera."
He added to The Mirror: “When I last went back I said to someone on the production team, ‘How many characters are in EastEnders at the moment?’ And they said there were over 50.
“If you go back to the original cast there were no more than 20 people in it."
The legendary actor said that storylines disappear when you have more characters which will lead to disengaged viewers.
The telly favourite continued: "It was a bit like Charles Dickens, he had a great way of involving you with his characters.
"The more characters you’ve got everything becomes dissipated and storylines disappear, you think, ‘What happened to that storyline, what happened to that character?’ People just disappear.
“I think there’s too many characters, when you have fewer characters you get deeper into the story.”
John recently revealed that playing the bad boy character makes it difficult for him to find love.
Speaking openly about trying to find someone special, he explained: "I’ve debated whether to join a dating site. What’s putting me off is, people can get confused and think they’re getting a date with Nasty Nick.
"They take one look and don’t know if I’m going to bite their head off. So they think, 'Maybe I won’t approach him, just to be on the safe side'."
He added to The Mirror: "I’d love to find a soulmate. You get a bit more fussy as you get older and don’t want to date someone just for the sake of it.
"But I’m going about it the natural way rather than online at the moment."
The actor added that he has a few criteria that women need to meet too.
"Blimey, it’s quite a list really. Blonde hair and blue eyes. Petite and good sense of humour," he revealed.
"A love of the arts, music, movies and swimming – that’s very important. Fastidious, tidy. And a love of the great outdoors. Adventurous spirit. It’s not too tall an order, is it?"
John was previously married to Bridgette Poodhun, but sadly they divorced in 1997. He has one daughter.
The bad boy character was finally killed off in the 30th anniversary episode of the show which aired in February 2015.
He finally met his demise when his on-screen mother Dot gave him a fatal dose of heroin
He was defined on the show for his evil, scheming nature, even trying to poison his saintly mum Dot in a bid to bag himself a fortune and was involved in the murders of Reg Cox and Eddie Royle.
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