John Altman used to re-write his script in 'EastEnders'.

John Altman

John Altman

The 64-year-old actor played 'Nasty' Nick Cotton in the long-running soap on and off from 1985 until his alter ego met his deadly end last year and he has admitted he and June Brown - who portrayed his on-screen mother Dot Cotton - used to pull up the writers and question them on their lines.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, he said: "They might write Nick Cotton saying, 'Oh Mum I think I'll go and put the kettle on.' Rather than, 'Alright Ma, I'm going to bung the old kettle on do you fancy a cuppa?' June and I could tell this in the writing when someone hasn't got it right.

"June and I would re-write stuff that wasn't right if we spotted it and then get it approved by the script department, because of the different cues with the cameras you have to have it right, you have different cameras for different shots, and they are numbered on the page. Usually the writers were good with us because we had been there for such a long time."

John - who has just released his book 'In the Nick of Time: The Autobiography of John Altman, EastEnders' Nick Cotton' - believes writers on the soap these days are struggling because there are too many on the team.

He explained: "It's all changed on 'EastEnders' now though, there are just so many writers. Because they do so many episodes you need more and more writers and more and more actors. The writers maybe good but they might not have the time to do the proper reader has due to the rush to get the episodes finished."

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