Former EastEnders star Pam St Clement has revealed that she was once insulted on the set of the BBC1 soap by the late Leslie Grantham. St Clement – who played Pat Evans for 20 years – was appearing on Loose Women when she spoke out about her ex co-star:
“He was a devil, you know. He’d test you and if you didn’t pass the test, that was it. He left you to your own devices. I remember one time we were joking about, I walked into the Vic and he was there and he said, ‘Oh hello, it’s the great white whale.’ Yes, charming.”
The actress revealed that she and Grantham were “never particularly close” but that she chose not to take offence in the aftermath of his derogatory remark.
“I could see him [laughing] and I thought, ‘you were just waiting to see how I reacted, you naughty boy’. There were people, though, who got upset by Leslie because he didn’t behave particularly well.
“But there you are. It’s very sad that he’s died. And sad because of the dire circumstance he was in after he left EastEnders under a cloud somewhat, I’m afraid to say. Nobody should have to pay for their misadventures by dying. And I’m sorry for that. And sorry for his family.”
Grantham – who played villainous ‘Dirty’ Den Watts – passed away in June at the age of 71. As was widely reported, his second stint on EastEnders, during which he worked alongside St Clement, was blighted by a media scandal after photos emerged of him apparently exposing himself in his dressing room. In his 2006 autobiography, Grantham admitted that he had tried to take his own life in the wake of the furore:
“I tried to lie my way out of the situation instead of facing up to it like a man,” he wrote. “Things got so bad I tried to kill myself”.
Later in his life, he reflected on those experiences, commenting: “Life isn’t a straight line. It’s like travelling the motorway. Every now and then, you have to take a diversion. Unfortunately, some of my diversions have been quite catastrophic. But I’m safe in the knowledge that what I do now is good.
“Of course I have regrets, but you can’t go round wearing a hair shirt all your life, otherwise you’ll never get out of bed in the morning.”
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