Late Eastenders actor was 'captivated' by Blackpool
Eastenders actor Leslie Grantham, who once claimed to be 'a big fan of Blackpool', has died.
The 71-year-old, who was best known as 'Dirty' Den Watts in the BBC soap in the 80s, died in the early hours of this morning just days after it was reported he was 'fighting for his life' in hospital.
In 1986 he was the guest of honour at the grand opening of The Palace, one of Blackpool's most happening nightclubs during the 90s. Based inside the Palatine Building, on Central Promenade, the Â£2.2m club closed its doors in 2003.
In 2006 the actor played a barrister accused of killing his wife in Jeffrey Archer's drama Beyond Reasonable Doubt at Blackpool Grand Theatre.
During this time he was snapped 'slumming it' in a Â£15-per-night local B&B - which he later described as 'very small, very cheap but very nice'.
He returned to The Grand as Private Walker in the stage version of Dad's Army in 2008.
Speaking to The Gazette at the time, he said: "I love the Grand – it's a very friendly theatre and I'm a big fan of Blackpool.
"The last time I was here – in Beyond Reasonable Doubt – I went into the Tower Ballroom. It's better than the Big Dipper – an amazing place. I think it was half term because everywhere was packed and the ballroom championships were on – I sat there eating my lunch, absolutely captivated by it all.
"I used to come to Blackpool when I was young – I can clearly remember losing my beach ball here. It's funny how some things stick in your memory."