Former EastEnders star Steve John Shepherd, who played Michael Moon for over three years, has revealed that he thinks his alter-ego would have been happy with starring in a soap isn’t an easy walk in the park.
Speaking exclusively to Inside Soap, Shepherd said: “Being in EastEnders was the hardest I’ve ever worked, I think a lot of people reckon soap acting is a n easy life – but it really isn’t! When you’re heavily involved in a storyline, you’ll sometimes be reading 40 pages of scripts a day.”
Speaking about Michael Moon’s exit storyline, the actor said: “I think Michael would have been delighted by what happened! I really enjoyed his exit from the show. It was EastEnders’ Halloween episode, which was quite appropriate for someone as ghastly as he was.
“By the end of my run, I was getting quite a lot of freedom with Michael’s lines, so a lot of stuff he came out with was improvised. You have to earn that freedom on a soap, and it was absolutely brilliant. After three years, the team trusted me enough to let me, since I knew Michael so well.”
Shepherd, however, still stands by his decision to leave when he did, saying: “It was the right time to go when I left, because Michael had run his course, but I enjoyed EastEnders very much while I was there.
“Michael was so much fun to play. I liked the fact that he was slightly weird a lot of the time. He was a bully, but he’d never get into a fight with you because he was also a complete coward!”
“I was always quite fortunate in that viewers were always very positive about Michael, though. It seems that the meaner he was, the happier everyone was to see him. He was beastly, but everyone loved him. I don’t know why!”