"I've played Hook before in a fancy wig, but not this time, it's going to be a less conventional interpretation of the role," promises Steve. "This one is going to be more like Phil Mitchell, more streetwise – I was thinking maybe tattoos... my kids have been helping me with the designs!"
Steve first joined Eastenders in 1990 – and admits that he has been playing the bad guy for so long he has become a bit typecast: "I don't even know what it's like to play a good guy, I've always been a baddie. I am typecast – because of the way I look. But it's better to be typecast than not cast at all!" he jokes.
I call her Tink as a pet name," says Steve, who lives in Highgate with his family. "At Christmas. I take two weeks off from EastEnders and the kids come to see me in panto – they love the live show, that's part of what makes our Christmas what it is."
Peter Pan is showing at the Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, from 6 December 2013 to 5 January 2014.
The panto also stars David Ribi as Peter Pan, Quinn Patrick as Mrs Smee, Nathaniel Morrison as Starky, Kelly Chinery as Mrs Darling and Elizabeth Carter as Wendy.
Tickets for selected performances from 6-13 December are at available for £17. From 14 December onwards tickets are priced £20-£28, family tickets £87. Concessions available. Box office Tel 020 8688 9291 www.fairfield.co.uk