EastEnders star John Altman has confirmed that he quit the show because hev did not want to play a gay storyline of his character. Altman played Nick Cotton on the BBC soap, and was one of its longest-serving characters from its inception in 1985 until 2015. But as the writers started to consider the romantic storyline for Nick with a man, Altman told the producer not to do it because it would have changed Nick’s character completely. The producer listened to him and decided it would be better to write him out at all. Altman describes the producer’s behavior as harsh. He added: “If I’d have gone in playing a gay character, fine. But to suddenly make the character … I dunno, to me, as an actor, it would’ve been wrong. I don’t think the public would’ve wanted it either.” Writer Pete Lawson said: “35 years ago EastEnders started and I was 15, and there were no LGBT people on TV. I would have loved to have seen the life that was out there waiting for me. If you told me then that 35 years later I would have been here with this amazing show, I would have been amazed”.