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'EastEnders' Ricky Grover: 'Bob Monkhouse saved my career'

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EastEnders star Ricky Grover has revealed that his career in showbusiness was salvaged by the late Bob Monkhouse.

The actor, who plays Andrew Cotton, said that the Golden Shot star's invitation to be his support act at one of his final gigs prior to his death in 2003 was a shock.

Ricky Grover, Andrew Cotton, EastEnders

© BBC Pictures

Bob Monkhouse

© Rex Features / ITV



Speaking to The Sun, Grover recalled: "I was gonna give up comedy a few years ago, until I got a call out of the blue from Bob Monkhouse. He asked if I'd come down to An Evening With Bob Monkhouse.

"I thought 'I don't know Bob Monkhouse, he don't know me. He must have me mixed up with Ricky Gervais or something', so I blanked the message a few times. Then my PA called and said 'Bob's been on the phone, he really wants you there'.

"So I went with my wife and sat there with a load of comedy legends. All of a sudden Bob Monkhouse said, 'One of my heroes is here tonight, Ricky Grover'. I was looking around thinking, 'This is a wind-up'.

Referring to his popular 11 O'Clock Show character Bulla, Grover added: "He came up to me afterwards and said how much he loved Bulla. He told me I had to resurrect him.

"So I did, and it got turned into the film My Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, and I landed a role in EastEnders. Not too bad for the remedial kid from Canning Town."

> EastEnders Andrew Cotton to stay on soap, confirms Ricky Grover
> EastEnders Ricky Grover: 'I turned Andrew role down five times'

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