Heartbeat star Nick Berry, 56, looks unrecognisable as he makes rare public ...

He won an army of fans with his popular portrayals of Simon Wicks in EastEnders and Sergeant Nick Rowan in Heartbeat - before stepping back from acting in 2003.

And Nick Berry looked unrecognisable as he made a rare public appearance on a dog walk recently.

The star, 56, who made his last television appearance in a 2012 episode of EastEnders at the funeral of his on-screen mother Pat Butcher, cut a casual figure in a lavender sweater, mint green overcoat and white patterned scarf.

Heartbeat star: Nick Berry looked unrecognisable as he made a rare public appearance on a dog walk recently

Heartbeat star: Nick Berry looked unrecognisable as he made a rare public appearance on a dog walk recently

Popular: The star, 56, who made his last television appearance in a 2012 episode of EastEnders ,cut a casual figure in a lavender sweater, mint green overcoat and white patterned scarf

Hunk: The star played Sergeant Nick Rowan in Heartbeat from 1992-1998

Popular: The star, 56, who made his last television appearance in a 2012 episode of EastEnders ,cut a casual figure in a lavender sweater, mint green overcoat and white patterned scarf

Every inch the silver fox, Nick paired his casual look with jeans and tan shoes as he unloaded his dog from the car before heading to a  petrol station.

In a sighting which will no doubt leave his fans delighted Nick sported silver locks, a beard and a pair of trendy shades.

The star had a stellar acting career on British television but stepped away from the screen aged 39 to raise his two sons.    

After springing to fame as Simon Wicks in EastEnders in 1985, Berry left in 1990 and decamped to the Yorkshire Dales for a six year stint as Heartbeat's Sergeant Nick Rowan, before taking on the role of harbour master Mike Nicholls in Harbour Lights.  

Sighting: Every inch the silver fox, Nick paired his casual look with jeans and tan shoes as he unloaded his dog from the car before heading to a petrol station

Sighting: Every inch the silver fox, Nick paired his casual look with jeans and tan shoes as he unloaded his dog from the car before heading to a petrol station

Stellar: In a sighting which will no doubt leave his fans delighted Nick sported silver locks, a beard and a pair of trendy shades

Icon: He played Simon Wicks in EastEnders from 1985-1990 (pictured 1987)

Stellar: In a sighting which will no doubt leave his fans delighted Nick sported silver locks, a beard and a pair of trendy shades (pictured as Simon Wicks in EastEnders in 1987)

He reached heartthrob  status with hordes of screaming fans besieging the BBC studios where the soap was filmed.

There was even a brief pop career too: in 1986 Berry released a single, Every Loser Wins, which became the second biggest-selling record in the UK that year. 

Save for a stint in the early

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