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Nerdy Nigel the loser is quitting EastEnders.

EastEnders' nerd Nigel Bates is quitting Albert Square - because he is fed up with being a loser.

Actor Paul Bradley, who plays the loveable buffoon, plans to leave the top soap at the end of 1997.

Curly-haired Nigel was originally hired for just one episode four years ago. But he stayed and quickly became a firm favourite as Walford's village idiot.

A friend said: "Paul loves working on the show, but as an actor it is very easy to be typecast.

"He doesn't want to be a dimwit for the rest of his career."

Last week viewers saw the luckless video shop boss lose out again in his quest for love.

He wined and dined sexy barmaid Lorraine Wicks - who promptly slept with his best friend, Grant Mitchell.

In real life Paul, 38, lives with theatre director Lynn Nelson and their two young children.

In between EastEnders' gruelling filming schedule, he tours pubs and clubs with his rock 'n' roll band, The Kippers.

Paul, who went to Manchester University with comics Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmonson and Ben Elton, almost didn't take the EastEnders role - but was forced to because he was broke.

"I wasn't sure I wanted to be in a soap because I didn't want to be type-cast," he said recently.

"But we had bailiffs at the door and the show saved my bacon."

SOS for Street - Page 23
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 29, 1996
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