Original EastEnders cast member John Altman has said he first quit the programme when a producer wanted to make his character, Nick Cotton, gay.
The actor didn't think it "would work" and believed the public wouldn't have wanted the change either.
"They tried to make Nick Cotton gay, it was years ago now. I went in there straight, and so did the other guy, Lofty, who was a bit of a loveable bozo in the early days," he told BANG Showbiz.
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"Anyway, they suddenly decided that he weren’t gay, they were gonna make him gay, and I didn’t think that was a good idea as it would’ve changed Nick’s character completely, really. So I went to the producer, I said, ‘I hear you’ve got this idea, but I don’t think it will work,’ and she said, ‘Well, write him out,’ and I walked away. She was really harsh.
"But, I went back. I was just written out for that period. 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."
Altman, 67, played the bad boy from 1985, returning intermittently before the character was killed off in 2015.
He went on to release an autobiography, In the Nick of Time, in 2016.
Meanwhile, former EastEnders actress Katie Jarvis recently spoke out against "job-shamers" after she was revealed by the Daily Star Sunday to be working as a security guard in B&M Bargains shop in East London.
Appearing on Victoria Derbyshire, she said: "I woke up on Sunday really embarrassed...to be on the front pages just for having a job really upset me.
“I feel the way they portrayed the story wasn’t very nice. It was really quite nasty - to be made to feel degraded.”
She added: “A lot goes into being a security guard, they put themselves at risk. I need to stand up for them and for working class people.”
Jarvis joined the programme as Hayley Slater in February 2018 before leaving a year later.