John Altman has blasted 'EastEnders' for having "too many episodes" and being overcrowded with characters.

John Altman

John Altman

The 68-year-old actor - who played 'Nasty' Nick Cotton on and off from 1985 to 2015 - is bemused as to how people "keep up with" the goings-on in Albert Square, and insisted "there's a lot more" to life than what is happening in Walford.

He said: "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.

“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."

John believes having more characters in the show means plots and people simply "disappear".

He is quoted by the Daily Mirror newspaper as saying: "If you go back to the original cast there were no more than 20 people in it.

"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.”

The former soap star recently opened up on June Brown's departure, and he claimed his on-screen mum quit her role as Dot after 35 years over her character's storylines.

He said: "She wasn't doing enough and that was about it really. She wasn't happy with the storylines - no other reason [why she left]."