EastEnders legend looks unrecognisable after quitting BBC soap 31 years ago

Nick Berry played heartthrob Simon Wicks on BBC soap EastEnders in the 80s before delighting viewers on ITV’s Heartbeat before leaving acting to become a stay-at-home dad

Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will auto-play soon8CancelPlay nowNick Berry discusses possibility of acting return in 2011ByJames BrinsfordSenior Showbiz Reporter

  • 18:16, 23 Nov 2021
  • Updated18:23, 23 Nov 2021
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EastEnders legend Nick Berry looks unrecognisable from his soap heyday in the 80s as he sports a huge beard and grey hair in his local high street.

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The 58-year-old played heartthrob Simon Wicks, affectionately known as Wicksy in the BBC soap, from 1985 to 1990.

After leaving EastEnders, he then delighted viewers as PC Nick Rowan in ITV's 1950s crime drama Heartbeat from 1992 to 1998.

There was a move back to Auntie Beeb to star in Harbour Lights before he eventually quit acting 18 years ago, aged 39, to be a stay-at-home dad.

In the time since he was last seen on screen, has undergone a huge transformation.

Nick Berry is unrecognisable from his soap heyday
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Image:
UniquePictures.co.uk)

Nick Berry as Simon Wicks in EastEnders, 1988
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Image:
BBC)

Wearing a yellow puffer coat and sporting some aviator sunglasses, Nick also had a different hairstyle to when he played Wicksy on EastEnders, some 30 years previously.

As he walked in the winter sunshine, Nick appeared to be carrying a couple of loaves of bread.

His influence and help while on the BBC soap has not gone unforgotten, with Sid Owen, who played Ricky Butcher, praising Nick in his recent autobiography, From Rags to Riches.

Nick Berry takes a stroll in the winter sunshine
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Image:
UniquePictures.co.uk)

Nick Berry walks back from his local shops after some doing some shopping
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Image:
UniquePictures.co.uk)

Sid wrote: "Nick was such a lovely, modest guy.

"As soon as he discovered I was living in a squat in Islington, quite close to the posher bit where he'd bought a flat, he offered to drive me up to work and back again.

"Nick used to be really into classic cars and I'll never forget the first time he turned up outside the squat in a gleaming Jaguar E-Type, ready to drive me to work.

"He was a big star, a proper household name, and when we arrived at the studio gates there were hordes of fans waiting."

Nick Berry was a soap heartthrob in the 80s
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Image:
UniquePictures.co.uk)

Sid continued to describe the scene, writing: "As soon as they spotted him the screams went up: 'Wicksy!' 'Nick!'

"'I love you, Nick!' The car was mobbed. Screaming girls waving banners, begging for autographs."

Speaking about his decision to turn his back on acting, Nick told the Daily Mail in 2011: "I chose to be a stay-at-home dad and have loved it.

"I always said that when the boys were teenagers I could go back, but the longer you don't do something the harder it is to do it, and I haven't really missed it.

"While I'd never say never, I'm genuinely happy as I am."

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