Billy Murray doesn't think Robert De Niro or Al Pacino would be able to make it as soap actors, like Danny Dyer and Steve McFadden.

Billy Murray

Billy Murray

The former 'EastEnders' star - who played gangster Johnny Allen in the BBC One show from 2005 to 2006 - has fond memories of his time in Soapland, but doubts whether some of Hollywood's royalty would be able to turn on their acting ability on a cold, rainy, Monday night in Albert Square.

He said: "Being in a soap or continuing drama is one of the hardest jobs on TV. De Niro or Pacino couldn’t do what Steve McFadden or Danny Dyer do in EastEnders.

"None of those big names could walk in and do it because they’d want rehearsals and you there’s no time for that, and it’s all shot out of sequence.

"I look back at those shows fondly.

"Someone posted my very first scene from 'The Bill' on Twitter recently and I could remember every single word like it was yesterday."

Fans have recently been calling for Johnny's return to Walford after spotting his picture on his daughter Ruby Allen's (Louisa Lytton) desk - despite his character being dead.

But Billy has insisted he won't be back in Albert Square anytime soon.

He said: "I keep getting asked on social media when I’m going back, people are adamant it’s happening because they show my picture on Ruby’s desk all the time.

"He can’t be alive! I have to refute it each time. He could maybe come back as a twin brother, or step out of the shower like Bobby Ewing in Dallas if his death turned out to be a dream.

"Though I don’t look good in the shower any more so I’m ruling that one out."

The 74-year-old star is also known for playing Detective Sergeant Don Beech in former serial drama 'The Bill' - but he has ruled out the possibility of returning to the show if the programme made a comeback.

He added to "Well, I live on a farm now so I’ve to mow the lawns and look after all that.

"I also collect cars and make sure they’re running OK, and have grandchildren who I adore.

"So to be honest I’ve got enough on my plate these days!"