Former EastEnders hardman Ross Kemp said he was teased for “talking posh” by his friends when his career started out.
The actor, author and documentary maker – who made his name playing rough-and-ready Grant Mitchell in the 1990s – said the accusations surfaced when he returned home following a stint at drama school in London as a teenager.
He told The Observer Magazine: “When I came home from drama school I was accused of talking posh.
“I went to London when I was 18 and when I returned to Essex my friends didn’t like my accent much.
“It was all part of this dreadful idea that drama schools can break you down and rebuild you into the model actor.”
Despite going on to play other roles, and move into documentary making with the Bafta-winning Ross Kemp On Gangs series, the 52-year-old said people “still think” he is the EastEnders character.
He said: “He (Grant) had a Neanderthal-type thuggery about him.
“I’m not necessarily professing to be the brightest person on the planet, but I think once people have a conversation with me, they work out he was just a character I played.”