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He is also president of the National Holiday Fund, which takes sick and disabled children to Disneyland in Florida, and is involved with numerous other charities and organisations.
"People here ask you how you are, and then wait for the answer, whereas elsewhere they don't wait.
to be so close to nature was the best way to spend Christmas Day."
Best known for his role as the gentle giant PC Tony Stamp in ITV's the Converse All Star Shoes Uk Bill for 25 years, he's now starring in Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal.
He said: "I always tried to put the heart in the uniform. I did all my own stunts and even trained with the Met. I did their driving course eight times and I hold a race licence."
Despite leaving the show in 2009, he is still recognised wherever he goes, with many people believing him to be a real policeman.
"My missus is always saying she cannot believe that you have chairs in shops, which shows that they want you to stay. Roy's of Wroxham is such a friendly place."
"I think Norwich Theatre Royal has taken over from Birmingham as a really traditional panto venue. It's so vibrant."
He became so associated with the role that he was made a member of the National Association of Retired Police Officers last year.
But he finally got his way and he has never looked back.
He said: "That was filmed in Thetford Forest and I play a policeman, and I don't mind the typecasting. It was really scary in the forest."
He was made an OBE for his voluntary and charitable work, and he said it was the culmination of a life spent mainly doing what he loves acting.
Since leaving the programme, he has kept busy, and a film he made in Thetford, called The Haunting of Harry Payne, is set to be released this year.
He said: "A tawny owl flew across the road on my way home the other night, and on Christmas Day, as Converse All Star Clearance Sale
And, as he lives in Wroxham, it also means that for the first time as a panto star he was able to spend Christmas Day and New Year's Day at home.
Mr Cole is an old hand at pantos, but when he was on The Bill the actors were often told that they could only appear in the London area. He said it was hard work starring in The Bill, often shooting scenes six days a week, and sometimes being involved in extremely traumatic storylines.
And he's enjoying life within the peaceful surroundings of the world famous Norfolk Broads.
From playing the good guy in The Bill to the baddie in Aladdin
He said: "I was driving through Brixton in south London once, and we heard this loud booming music when we came to a traffic lights. There were these four guys in the car, and as soon as they saw me, they put their seat belts on."
Rock musician and fellow Norfolk resident, Rick Wakeman was instrumental in his coming to live in the county.
a family, we went to see the seals at Horsey. The sun came out and Converse All Star Sneakers
Earlier in the year he also starred in a new play called Soap Opera, with Leslie Grantham, who played the infamous Dirty Den in EastEnders. He is also a big fan of Twitter and has 1,000 followers.
That, and the fact that his wife Cherry is from Leiston in Suffolk, so she knew the delights of East Anglian life. He also enjoyed holidays in Norfolk and on the Broads as a child.
He was just eight years old when he knew he wanted to be actor, but his father wanted him to do something more serious, so he trained in orthopaedics.
Another reason he's enjoying life so much at present is the great success of Aladdin at Norwich Theatre Royal.
name of Graham Coleman Smith, so most people were left in the dark.
Mr Cole was honoured under his real Converse All Star Black And White
"We had a couple who came all the way to see it from Leeds and then went back again. The atmosphere is amazing and you get so much back from the kids.
He plays the baddie, Abanazar, who is Aladdin's wicked uncle, and he said: "In 40 years I have never played to so many full houses, so it's great not having to perform for just Mr And Mrs Wood, as we say.
He added: "If you already live here, you probably don't realise how friendly the people are.
He has been an ambassador of Childline/NSPCC for 25 years and is a member of the showbusiness charity, The Grand Order of Water Rats.
He added that his charity work was also his way of putting something back into the community, and in gratitude for the relatively trouble free upbringing of his two children.
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