Former EastEnders heartthrob Paul Nicholls spotted out shopping in a rare sighting in London

Former Eastenders star Paul Nicholls was seen running errands in London on Sunday, in what is a rare sighting of the ’90s heartthrob. 

The 41-year-old actor cut a casual display in baggy jeans, a black T-shirt and a blue bomber jacket.

Paul wore a set of white sneakers on his feet, as he clutched a bottle of Lucozade and his Iphone

Soap legend: Paul Nicholls was seen running errands in London on Sunday, in what is a rare sighting of the 90s heartthrob

Soap legend: Paul Nicholls was seen running errands in London on Sunday, in what is a rare sighting of the 90s heartthrob

Soap legend: Paul Nicholls was seen running errands in London on Sunday, in what is a rare sighting of the 90s heartthrob

The former soap star sported salt and pepper stubble on his cheeks.   

Paul was seen grinning at onlookers as he walked along the pavement in the smart North London neighbourhood.  

Bolton-born Nicholls has kept a low profile in recent years, having originally risen to fame playing schizophrenic character Joe Wicks on BBC’s EastEnders from 1996-7.

He has starred in the likes of Law and Order: UK and Holby City, as well as Secret Diary Of A Call Girl with Billie Piper and Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge. 

Changing times: Bolton-born Nicholls originally rose to fame playing Joe Wicks on EastEnders from 1996-7

Changing times: Bolton-born Nicholls originally rose to fame playing Joe Wicks on EastEnders from 1996-7

Fresh-faced: Paul looked very different on Sunday to how he looked on EastEnders

Fresh-faced: Paul looked very different on Sunday to how he looked on EastEnders

Changing times: Bolton-born Nicholls originally rose to fame playing Joe Wicks on EastEnders from 1996-7

Casual look: The 41-year-old actor cut a casual display in baggy jeans, a black T-shirt and a blue bomber jacket

Casual look: The 41-year-old actor cut a casual display in baggy jeans, a black T-shirt and a blue bomber jacket

Casual look: The 41-year-old actor cut a casual display in baggy jeans, a black T-shirt and a blue bomber jacket

However his personal life has not been short of struggle – having publicly battled a drink and drugs addiction as well as depression, following his EastEnders fame.

After recovering, he said of his battles in 2008: ‘People said I had too much too soon when I was playing Joe Wicks, and maybe they were right. I didn’t want to be a heart-throb, and I could not handle the attention.’

He then revealed on Loose Women in 2016 that he had been left unable to speak for a few months, after discovering a benign tumour on his throat.

He explained: ‘It’s nerve-racking to be back on stage. I didn’t speak for a couple of months. It was a tumour rather than a nodule, in my vocal cords.’

In 2017, Paul hit headlines when he was found with severe injuries at the bottom of a waterfall on the Thai Island of Koh Samui – three days after he left his accommodation to go for a ride on his scooter.          

Career: Paul, pictured in 2003, has kept a low profile in recent years, having previously starred in the likes of Law and Order: UK, Holby City, and Channel 4's Ackley Bridge

Career: Paul, pictured in 2003, has kept a low profile in recent years, having previously starred in the likes of Law and Order: UK, Holby City, and Channel 4's Ackley Bridge

Career: Paul, pictured in 2003, has kept a low profile in recent years, having previously starred in the likes of Law and Order: UK, Holby City, and Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge

Trailblazing: Paul's EastEnders character Joe Wicks, pictured here with his mother Lorraine (Jacqueline Leonard), was praised in the 1990s as being a realistic portrayal of someone with schizophrenia

Trailblazing: Paul's EastEnders character Joe Wicks, pictured here with his mother Lorraine (Jacqueline Leonard), was praised in the 1990s as being a realistic portrayal of someone with schizophrenia

Trailblazing: Paul’s EastEnders character Joe Wicks, pictured here with his mother Lorraine (Jacqueline Leonard), was praised in the 1990s as being a realistic portrayal of someone with schizophrenia

Speaking on Loose Women afterwards, Paul explained: ‘I was on a scooter, no one knew where I was. I came around the corner, there were about 15 wild dogs. One pack had made a kill and the blood attracted the rest of them. 

He added: ‘I pulled into the waterfall and thought the only way I can go is down but I didn’t realise how much I was bleeding. As soon as I touched the rock, I just went over. It was a 20 ft drop and my knee hit something on the way down.

‘It looked like something just flew out of my knee – part of my knee cap – and then I hit the water. Where my knee cap should have been, there was just a hole and I was holding it.’

And the actor’s distress was only exacerbated when the waterfall setting began to resemble somewhat of a horror scene as legions of leeches and crabs appeared from no where. 

Emergency crews found the actor after a three-day search of the wilderness when the alarm was raised after he failed to return his rented bike.

The star was semi-conscious and suffering from hypothermia as well as a tropical infection picked up from his untreated wounds and a broken leg.  

Speaking of the near-death experience to from hospital, Nicholls told The Sun: ‘I am lucky to be alive. It took such a long time to find me. It’s an understatement to say it wasn’t a great situation.’ 

Ordeal: Paul hit headlines in 2017 when he was found with severe injuries at the bottom of a waterfall on the Thai Island of Koh Samui. He is pictured recounting the ordeal on Loose Women in 2017

Ordeal: Paul hit headlines in 2017 when he was found with severe injuries at the bottom of a waterfall on the Thai Island of Koh Samui. He is pictured recounting the ordeal on Loose Women in 2017

Ordeal: Paul hit headlines in 2017 when he was found with severe injuries at the bottom of a waterfall on the Thai Island of Koh Samui. He is pictured recounting the ordeal on Loose Women in 2017

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  1. Если бы у меня был такой голос, как у меня, мне было бы немного неловко, если ты поешь дерьмо, которое она поет. «Я хочу прокатиться на твоей диско-палке», я имею в виду женщину ради божественности, испытываю чувство собственного достоинства.

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