11/03/2012 07:19 GMT | Updated 11/05/2012 06:12 BST

Ricky Grover Reveals Surprising Fan Base Since Joining 'EastEnders' As Andrew Cotton

EastEnders' Ricky Grover has revealed that his soap role has won the approval of his family.

The actor and comedian is currently seen on screens as Andrew Cotton, who has proposed to Heather Trott (Cheryl Fergison) in the BBC soap.

"I've received awards in the past, but now I'm in EastEnders, my family think I've arrived!" the 50-year-old told Inside Soap.

Former boxer Ricky said that his performance has won some surprising fans.

"The people who contact me after an episode's gone out are quite unexpected. Flat-nosed, tough East End boxers text me saying, 'I'm so proud of you!'. I'd never have dreamed that they'd be watching it," he continued.

Ricky admitted he hesitated before signing on to play Andrew, who is waiting to find out if Heather will still walk up the aisle, following his confession that he's had a stint in prison. Cheryl is poised to leave the soap shortly.

"I was wary of taking the part of Andrew, because I didn't want him and Heather just to be 'the silly fat couple'," he said.

"But EastEnders hasn't played that card. We've seen a very different side to Heather while she's been in this relationship."