John Altman (actor)

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John Altman
Born2 March 1952 (1952-03-02) (age 62)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Years active1979–present (actor)
2010–present (singer)
Notable work(s)See below
Spouse(s)Bridgitte (m. 1986–97) (divorced)
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John Altman
Born2 March 1952 (1952-03-02) (age 62)
Reading, Berkshire, England
Years active1979–present (actor)
2010–present (singer)
Notable work(s)See below
Spouse(s)Bridgitte (m. 1986–97) (divorced)

John Altman (born 2 March 1952) is an English actor and singer, perhaps best known for playing "Nasty" Nick Cotton in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders, being among the show's original cast members in 1985 and most recently appearing during 2009. In 2010 he became the new frontman of the band Heavy Metal Kids following the death of former frontman Gary Holton in 1985.


Altman was born in Reading, Berkshire. He made his acting debut in the 1979 film The First Great Train Robbery where he played a minor role. Later that same year he portrayed musician George Harrison in the biographical television film Birth of The Beatles. He made brief appearances in several other films including Quadrophenia (1979) and An American Werewolf in London (1981). Altman also featured in a 1982 short public information film, "Stupid Git",[1] part of the British government's campaign against drink-driving.

In 1985, he first appeared as Nick Cotton in the new BBC television soap opera EastEnders appearing in the very first episode in February that year. He has been in the show on a recurring basis, with his most recent and last appearance in June 2009. His character has been part of many famous storylines in the show including the murders of Reg Cox and Eddie Royle, his attempt to kill his own mother Dot by poisoning her and his drug addiction. His character was also given his own television spin-off episode The Return of Nick Cotton in 2000.

He also appeared in an adult pantomime, which released on video in 1994 titled Pussy in Boots. In the pantomime he appeared alongside fellow EastEnders stars Mike Reid and Barbara Windsor. In 2001 he won the Rear of the Year Award alongside Claire Sweeney.[2] In the same year he also performed in the Leiber and Stoller tribute evening at the Hammersmith Apollo, singing Trouble, originally performed by Elvis Presley.

In 2002 he toured around the UK playing Billy Flynn in the long-running musical Chicago. He also appeared in the John Godber written stage play Bouncers opposite fellow soap actor Nigel Pivaro who is best known for playing Terry Duckworth in Coronation Street.[3]

In 2004 he made an appearance in the comedy sketch series Bo' Selecta! as his EastEnders character. In 2006, Altman was set to appear in an upcoming British film called It's Been Real, the trailer can be seen on YouTube.[4] It still has yet to be released in cinemas. John Altman also appeared on 18 July 2009 episode of Totally Saturday by climbing out of the boot of a car.

In August 2010 he joined a band called Heavy Metal Kids.[citation needed]From late 2010, until early 2011, Altman appeared in adverts for Daz along with actors (Michael Starke and Amanda Barrie), from rival soap opera Coronation Street.

In February 2011, he appeared on Live From Studio Five.

In January 2012, he appeared as one of the first five couples in the third series of Celebrity Coach Trip partnering fellow actor Derek Martin.

Personal life[edit]

Altman married Brigitte in 1986 and they divorced in 1997. He has one daughter named Rosanna.[5] Having been born in Reading, he moved to Kent as a young child, he attended the Community College, Whitstable, then known as the Sir William Nottidge.

He is a high-profile supporter of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. In 2008, Altman played the part of King Rat in Dick Whittington, a pantomime featured at the Hexagon venue in Reading, Berkshire.

June Brown who plays his on-screen mother Dot Cotton, shares a great working relationship with Altman and she campaigned for five years to the producers to bring him back to EastEnders following his departure in 2001. According to Altman, she is like his second mother and she helped him throughout his alcoholism during the 1990s.

Altman is a patron of the Born Free Foundation and has supported the wildlife charity for many years.

In September 2010, John participated in the Bupa Great Yorkshire Run to raise funds for Alzheimer's Society, Bupa's nominated charity for the 2010 Bupa Great Run Series.



20131066Earl Leofricpre-production
2009Photo ShootWayne Wilson
2006The InsaneJohn Vincent NarrationShort Film
1969MattShort Film
2005Hell to PayPoliceman
It Could Be YouTony Mantana
1994To Die ForDogger
1993The Higher MortalsMr. Thomas
1983Return of the JediRebel Pilot (uncredited)
1981Memoirs of a SurvivorGerald's Courtier
An American Werewolf in LondonAssorted Sweets
1979Birth of the BeatlesGeorge Harrison
The First Great Train RobberyThe train


YearTV ShowRoleNotes
2012Celebrity Coach TripHimself
2011Live From Studio FiveHimself1 episode
2010Fern Britton MeetsHimself1 episode : June Brown
The Wright StuffHimself – Guest Panelist1 episode: Episode No.14.52
EastEnders: The Murders of Lucas JohnsonHimselfOne Off Special Documentary
Loose WomenHimself1 episode: Episode No.14.141
EastEnders: The Greatest CliffhangersHimself3 episodes
2007–10The Weakest LinkHimself2 episodes: Goodies and Baddies/'EastEnders' Special 3
2009The Alan Titchmarsh ShowHimself1 episode
Hole in the WallHimself1 episode
Totally SaturdayHimself1 episode
The British Soap Awards 2009Himself
The Podge and Rodge ShowHimself1 episode
1985–EastEndersNick CottonSeries regular, 1985–93, 1998, 2000–01, 2008–09, 2014-
2008EastEnders: ComebacksHimselfOne Off Special Documentary
GMTVHimself1 episode
EastEnders: WhodunnitsHimselfOne Off Special Documentary
2007No. 1 Soap FanHimself
Granada ReportsHimself1 episode
Soapstar SuperchefHimself2 episodes
2005BalamoryUnknown Role1 episode : The Game Show
2004100 Greatest Christmas MomentsHimselfTV documentary
Win, Lose or Draw LateHimself2 episodes
Simply the BestHimself1 episode: Episode No.1.5
Celebrity Fear Factor UKHimself1 episode: Episode No.1.1
Bo' SelectaNick Cotton1 episode: Episode No.3.4
2003EastEnders: Christmas PartyHimselfTV film
Loose LipsHimself1 episode
2002KellyHimself1 episode
Top TenHimself1 episode: Soap Queens
2001Liquid NewsHimself1 episode
2000EastEnders: The Return of Nick CottonNick Cotton(TV film)
1998Lenny Goes to TownUnknown Role1 episode : Cambridge
1997Adam's Family TreeAngus the Caveman1 episode: I'm the Urban Caveman
1996Chef!Pianist1 episode : Lessons in Talking
The Famous FiveSimmy1 episode: Five Fall into Adventure
Cold LazarusRestaurant Policeman1 episode: Episode No.1.1
1995–96Blackhearts in BatterseaMidwink6 episodes
1994Pussy in BootsThe Wicked GiantTV: Mike Reid Live
1992Noel's House PartyUnknown Role1 episode: Episode No.1.13
1991The Ghosts of Oxford StreetThomas De QuinceyTV
The Adventures of Scragtag and Toddles, Ace DetectivesUnknown RoleTV series
1990The Paradise ClubEddie1 episode: Rock and Roll Roulette
1984MinderCabbie1 episode: The Car Lot Baggers
1983PicturesLance Repton1 episode: Episode No.1.1
1982The New Adventures of Lucky JimVic Slater1 episode: The Apartment
Play for TodayYoung man on tube1 episode: Life After Death


  1. ^ Public Information Films | 1979 to 2006 | Film index | Stupid Git, John Altman. Retrieved on 16 August 2012.
  2. ^ Rear of the Year – History. Retrieved on 16 August 2012.
  3. ^ Beds, Herts and Bucks Theatre – Milton Keynes Theatre – Bouncers – John Altman interview. BBC (13 September 2003). Retrieved on 16 August 2012.
  4. ^ Movie Trailer: "It's Been Real" starring Samantha Fox. YouTube (3 November 2006). Retrieved on 16 August 2012.
  5. ^ ::The Speakers Agency – Speakers::

External links[edit]