What’s your guilty TV pleasure?
I find it comforting to lie on the sofa and watch Countryfile. I know nothing about farming, but it’s just so nice. It gives you a cuddle. And then Antiques Roadshow. I’m a massive fan of Fiona Bruce – that is one sexy woman. I wonder if she’s aware of who I am?
What has made you cry?
Countryfile did make me cry once when a lamb didn’t make it. I get very emotional about things. The end of Breaking Bad choked me up – it’s the kind of show where you put the first episode on and then sit up for three days off your nut on coffee because you’ve got obsessed.
What are your earliest memories of TV?
Watching stuff like Minder. One show I used to love was The Crystal Maze. I really wanted to go on it. But I’ve watched the reruns recently and the tracksuits they had to wear were criminal.
What makes you turn the TV off?
Corrie. Nothing to do with the cast, it’s just never been my sort of thing. I’ve never really got my head round Emmerdale, either. They’re not something I can have on my telly.
Who was your first TV crush?
Anneka Rice on Treasure Hunt. It was because the camera was always following her from behind. You get these stirrings in your loins when you’re a kid, don’t you? I didn’t understand what that was about at the time, but now I realise it was about Anneka Rice’s bum.
How do you feel about your British Soap Award nominations for best actor and sexiest male?
Overwhelmed, but I’m nothing without the rest of the Carter family. As for sexiest male: I’m pushing 40, I’ve got a beer belly and I’m growing a pair of moobs. To every pot-bellied man out there, there’s hope for you all.
As a parent, how similar is Mick Carter to you?
He’s the closest character I’ve ever played to myself. Mick’s a man with a heart who’s still the alpha male, and what’s wrong with that? I’m a man’s man, but I will cry, I’ll tell my kids I love them and I’ll cuddle them when they need it.
What has surprised you most about being in EastEnders?
My life as an actor has turned around so much these past four months. I went through a stage where I made some bad decisions and became a joke. Now people are saying that I’m a good actor again. If you’re blagging it as an actor you’ll be exposed once you come into a soap. I’m here for the 20 stretch. As long as they want to keep me, I’ll stay.
What are you watching just now?
Sherlock. Everyone was driving me mad about it, so I decided to have a go and I’ve become hooked. Martin Freeman is a really interesting actor and Benedict is brilliant. It’s every actor’s dream to play that sort of role.
Could you see yourself as Holmes?
I know I’ve got the talent to do it; whether they’d want a slightly cockney Sherlock, I don’t know! It probably works better when you’ve got the articulation.
EastEnders is on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday on BBC1.