Former EastEnder Joe Swash has spoken about his previous financial woes for the first time.
The actor played Mickey Miller in the BBC One soap from 2003 to 2008, returning for a couple of episodes in 2011, but hit financial crisis with bankruptcy in 2009 over unpaid tax bills.
Swash has not talked about his problems before, but his agent said at the time that he was not in any financial difficulty otherwise and when a similar problem appeared to crop up in 2013 it was later annulled as an admin error.
Now, he has told the Daily Mirror: “I got into EastEnders and was irresponsible with money.
“I was chucking it away on stuff I didn’t need.
“I went out every night and had a house with a mortgage.
“When you are young you just don’t think it is ever going to end.
“I thought I was going to be on EastEnders for years and years.”
However, Swash’s role in the soap was cut short when he got viral meningitis which kept him off work for a year and meant he had no safety net as he was self employed.
The star, who is promoting tips on how to improve credit ratings and manage money for credit card firm Aqua, said it had left him feeling ashamed.
He said: “I fell behind on tax and bills and buried my head in the sand which was the worst thing to do. I should have faced up to it.
“The second time it happened I was on TV and I felt embarrassed and wondered how I managed to get myself into the situation. But it can happen to anybody.”