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John Altman

Actor of Stage and TV - hugely recognisable as ultimate bad boy Nick Cotton in 'Eastenders', John Altman is also a conference facilitator and presenter.

John Altman 23.1.20 Photo © Sheila Burnett

About John Altman


John Altman is not Nasty Nick Cotton – the ultimate bad boy. He certainly portrays him in ‘Eastenders’ and did so for 17 years, but the man himself couldn’t be more different.  Immensely likeable, gentle, soft spoken and a real romantic, John is an immensely talented actor of over 30 years standing. He has appeared in many films including ‘Quadraphenia’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’, TV series such as Lynda La Plante’s ‘Seekers’, Theatre Musical Productions such as ‘Carousel’ and ‘Chicago’ and of course BBC TV’s most famous soap, Eastenders.

John believes his love of acting is the result of a combination of influences, which he experienced as a young boy. His maternal grandfather was the actor John Schofield Jnr. who appeared in many films including ‘Went the Day Well’.  He loved his twice weekly visits to the local Odeon and at the same time he became completely fascinated when Ken Russell came to his home town with a film crew and he followed them around on location for a good couple of weeks.  Unfortunately Drama School was not an option for John due to the cost, so he pursued the arts at his local college – fine art, photography, music and after spending a year hitching from “Dover to New Delhi and Back” he became an odd job man for an Arab oil sheikh.

John then decided to accept his first theatre job as an assistant stage manager in Leeds. He could have taken any of a number of jobs in theatres around the country and has no idea why he chose Leeds. On the first day he started to clear out some crates and spookily found a dusty picture of his grandfather on top of the very first crate he opened. This he claims was the final sign that acting was to be his chosen career.  John Altman is not only a fine actor but he is also an accomplished musician (drums and guitar) and a member of various rock bands. He is a most entertaining speaker and is often asked to accept assignments for TV and national newspapers. He is divorced, has a stunning daughter Rosanna and enjoys cooking, gardening and going to the cinema. John also released his autobiography, ‘In the Nick of Time’ which was published in June 2016.

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