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‘I put on a stone and a half to play Lino in Cuffs,’ says ex Emmerdale star Alex Carter (VIDEO)

Five years after playing postman Jamie Hope in Emmerdale, Alex Carter is about to become a regular on TV screens again in BBC1's new police drama Cuffs (Wednesdays, 8pm) – a copper with a whopping appetite.

Alex explained to What’s On TV all about his banter-loving cop Pc Lino Moretti: “It’s quite refreshing that Lino is semi-witty and likes a bit of a laugh... He’s not the fittest of police officers and throughout the series that causes him a few problems, not only health-wise but through his incompetence and inability to catch a crimina!" "]

Alex laughed: “The chase scenes weren’t a problem for me as I was the fat one at the back. And I put on a bit of weight in between auditioning and getting the part. They asked me to put on weight and an out-of-work actor always says ‘Yes!’ to that. From that point onwards I put on about a stone and a half to play Lino in Cuffs, just to make a realistic level of overweightness. It’s something myself and a lot of my friends can relate to!"

He added: “Lino loves his food. Who doesn’t really? If you’re given a green light to eat anything you may as well go for it! He’s always eating and is from an Italian family so food is a big part of his life, and a big part of his problem."

Alex finds it difficult to compare his Cuffs role to his previous roles in soaps.

"I loved Emmerdale and Hollyoaks so much, and I love Cuffs so much too. They’re all completely different jobs. The biggest difference for me is Cuffs has a beginning and an end, which is new to me in television, and to get an over-riding story arc like Lino does in Cuffs is brilliant and the biggest challenge.”

Watch the full interview with Alex Carter, above.

Cuffs premieres on BBC1 on Wednesday, October 28.