Former EastEnders star Dean Gaffney has revealed that he feels lucky to be alive following his 40mph car accident in January. The actor, who played Robbie Jackson on the BBC1 soap, had to have reconstructive surgery on his skull after he crashed his Mini Cooper into a central reservation while not wearing a seatbealt.
“I’m very lucky. You hit the nail on the head there about the seatbelt,” he commented on Daybreak this morning. “I know I’m a naughty boy and it takes something like this – I always learn the hard way in my life.”
Describing the accident, which took place following a performance at the Derby Theatre of A Murder is Announced in which Gaffney is starring, the actor said he couldn’t explain why he wasn’t buckled up: “I was pulling out of the theatre and I was reversing and then I just completely forgot and then drove on my merry way and 20 minutes later this happened.”
On his injuries, Gaffney added: “It could have been a lot worse. One inch down and I would have been blind, and one inch up I would have been brain damaged. The amazing thing, to be honest, that’s come from all this is just the well wishers. I mean, the text messages from people from EastEnders, cast members and producers and whatnot, and people from everyday life that I’ve worked with along the years have just been so amazing.”
The actor plans to be back performing the Agatha Christie whodunnit tomorrow in Stevenage and also revealed that is to perform in this year’s Let’s Dance for Comic Relief. But when asked whether he would ever drive without a seatbelt again, Gaffney added: “Never, on my life. I promise.”