EastEnders legend Sid Owen believes he might have ended up dead if he had not discovered acting.
The star is convinced that without a career playing Ricky Butcher on the soap, it is likely he would have turned to a life of crime and landed in an early grave. As a youngster in north London in the 1970s, he was surrounded by trouble.
Sid, 51, says: “I grew up on a massive council estate. All my family, friends and neighbours were involved in crime. That was all I knew. I grew up as a petty thief. I did that because my three older brothers were doing it.
“It stems from where you grow up and your background and being on the poverty line. And I lost my mum at six… my dad was in prison. So I could have easily lost the plot. I could have easily gone down the wrong path.”