Nick Cotton, a long-time character from the popular soap, Eastenders, was meant to have a gay relationship in the 1980s, until the actor playing him protested, and the character was written out.
John Altman, who has played Nick Cotton on-and-off since the 1980s said the character was written out of the series by Julia Smith, a co-creator, and writer, after he questioned whether Cotton would have a relationship with George ‘Lofty’ Holloway, who was also straight until that point.
Mr Altman told the Guardian that Ms Smith had written out his character when he questioned why Cotton would have a gay relationship. He said:
“A few months later, Julia wrote me out for about a year when I protested that Nick wasn’t the kind of man who would start a gay relationship with Lofty, another straight character.”
June Brown, who played Dot Cotton also said something similar, adding that actors had little input into their characters. She said:
“In the early days, we actors had no input. Julia was quite a taskmaster. When Nick was supposed to start a gay relationship with Lofty, John Altman, who played Nick, told her he didn’t feel it was in character. When he left the room, Julia said: ‘Write him out!’ They did.”
OnTheBox reported that Nick Cotton was voted one of television’s all-time most villainous characters by a Channel Four poll.