Former EastEnders actor Paul Nicholls has sparked concern after being filmed smoking from a suspicious pipe in shocking footage.
The actor, 36, well known for playing schizophrenic Joe Wicks in the BBC soap, was reportedly caught on camera as he smoked with a friend – appearing dishevelled and worse for wear.
The footage, obtained by the Sun on Sunday, was allegedly taken two weeks ago at a friend’s flat in Bolton, Lancashire.
As Paul sits on the sofa holding the suspicious pipe, a friend is seen lighting it for him as they chat together.
A source claimed to the newspaper that Nicholls has “fallen in with a bad crowd” and “gone off the rails.”
“Paul has been trying to keep things clean,” the source reportedly said.
“But he has recently let himself slide and fallen off the wagon. He seems in a bad way.”
The star worked on the EastEnders set from 1996-1997, and he later starred as a drug dealer in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.
Having been voted TV’s sexiest actor twice, he also had flings with two of the soap’s leading ladies, Martine McCutcheon and Daniella Westbrook.
Paul recently appeared in The C-Word with Sheridan Smith, and the recent footage will no doubt come as a shock to fans – showing the actor a world away from his fresh-faced on-screen persona.
After quitting Albert Square, Paul openly admitted struggling with depression and getting hooked on alcohol and drugs.