EastEnders star William Ellis has opened up about the “quite harsh” reactions he gets to his character Theo Hawthorne

The actor, 43, is best known for playing the stalker of Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner). For months, he has stalked the soap alum after finding her on a saucy subscription site.

However, the truth came out and despite cutting off all contact with Theo, recently Stacey was horrified to learn that he had bought the house next door to the Slater’s. And in episodes this week, the villain will plaster raunchy photos of Stacey all over the famous square.

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However, it seems William’s portrayal of Theo has rubbed up some soap fans the wrong way. So much so that a group of lads branded him a “nonce” while on a flight.

In a new interview, William recalled the “sometimes quite harsh” he gets in public because of his character. Speaking to The Sun, he said: “I was on a flight to Ibiza six weeks ago when the storyline kicked in as Theo might be grooming Lillia (actress Lillia Turner aka Lily Slater) and I was flying on my own.”

He went on: “In very good humour, I was called a 'nonce' by various stag parties and hen parties behind me." However, William took it all on the chin and saw the interaction as "a real bonus."

He explained: “People are talking about the show, there was no bad feeling but it just meant that you're part of something so big and part of a show that is so canonised.”

In EastEnders this week, the drama escalates as Stacey's hearing for her Stalking Protection Order against Theo arrives. After Martin shows her the Secret Cam posters that Theo has plastered all over the wall, an enraged Stacey goes to confront Theo.

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Later at court, Theo's solicitor tears apart Stacey's reputation and character and she can't hold back her anger. Theo makes it clear that the magistrates ruling hasn't changed anything for him and he's convinced that Stacey is meant to be with him.

Later, Theo breaks into the Slater house while Stacey is home alone. And in a shocking turn of events, a major incident unfolds.

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