It has been announced that Nigel Harman will appear on this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing, and you may not have realised he has links to south London.

The 50-year-old actor is most well-known for his role as Dennis Rickman on the BBC soap Eastenders and Max Christie in BBC One’s Casualty.

He grew up in Woldingham in Surrey and then went to school at Dulwich College in south east London – a day and boarding private school for boys.

His dad was a bank manager with an interest in amateur dramatics.

So, he got involved with Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association (CODA) and passed this hobby and interest down to his son, Nigel.

His mum was also involved in these productions until she passed away when Nigel was only 18.

Nigel told The Independent that when he got the call to tell him he had landed his role in Eastenders, he was driving a Sainsbury’s van in south London.

He said: "They said: 'You've got the job.' I was sitting there in my Sainsbury's fleece, with Mrs Bloggs's groceries in the back, and I just laughed my arse off.”

He went on to tell The Independent that he took his Sainsbury’s van right back to the depot and told his boss “no chance” when asked if he was going to finish his shift.

Nigel also said that he got his “big break” when he was eight-years-old when his dad needed a “kid in a sailor suit to sit on a banquette for a play in Croydon”.

After finishing school in Dulwich, he went to Arts Educational Schools in Chiswick and was then cast in the original production of Mamma Mia.

He also performed on cruise ships but has openly said that he hated it and has tried to forget the job ever happened.

Nigel said: “I actually got an email saying ‘Strictly?’ and I burst out laughing.

“But, I went ‘maybe I want to do this’ and from that moment I was pretty much hooked.”

When asked how he feels about dancing on national television, he said: “There’s a part of me that really wanted to do the show but doesn’t necessarily need anyone to see it.

“I’ve asked and they said ‘no, we need to film you’.”

When asked if he is ready for the signature Strictly sequins and spandex, he added: “Spandex? Nobody said anything about spandex.

“But yes, I’m ready to stand and look in the mirror and be shocked.”

Nigel will appear on television screens as people tune into Strictly Come Dancing tonight on BBC One at 6.15pm.