In a new interview with The Sun TV Mag the actor cites bettering his earlier performances in the role of Dean Wicks as one of the main reasons behind his Albert Square comeback.
“I can go back to EastEnders and do better than I did last time. I don’t think I did all that well my first time there – I’m not particularly proud of anything – but it was my first big job.
“I was a teenager and just blagging it. I’d like to think I’ve done some learning over the past seven years and can feel a bit more confident now.”
He says that with the appointment of new boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins the timing felt right to make a comeback, noting “The first day back was surreal – most of the same staff, and the dressing rooms are still as hideous as ever.”
Di Angelo originally portrayed the role of Dean – then known as Deano – between January 2006 and February 2008. During that time, Deano forged a bond with estranged mum Shirley (Linda Henry), was sent to prison after lying about who attacked Patrick Trueman and had to cope with his father Kevin’s death.
Discussing his previous departure from the soap, Di Angelo admits it was a “shock” and says:
“My contract ended and we were meant to talk about what we were going to do with Deano, but the producers decided they didn’t know what to do. I didn’t grow up in a very rich house so the lure of constant money and work is appealing. But I got given a little nudge, so I was forced to go and look for other work – and I was lucky enough to find other jobs.”
During his time away from EastEnders, Di Angelo has starred in Hustle, Borgia and Death in Paradise.