Christopher is best known for his portrayal of Ted Murray in the BBC soap, and has spoken for the first time about his illness, revealing he kept it private even from his children, as they had recently lost their mother.
Speaking to the Express, he said: “I had prostate cancer but I’ve been clear for five years. There were only one or two people who knew.
“At the time I discovered that I had prostate cancer, it was not long after my first wife had died, so my children had lost their mum. I felt that to tell them that I had prostate cancer, while I knew that I had it and there was a threat of some sort, I felt that it would be wise not to make things worse for them.
“The death of their mum was a shock and my eldest daughter said at the funeral, ‘Please look after yourself, Dad.’ I realised then that it was right not to tell them.
“But I did tell them when I was given the all-clear.”
Christopher, who is now working with the charity Prostate Cancer UK to raise awareness of the disease, urged any men with “concerns”: “Don’t be embarrassed, go and be checked. And people who have heredity connections should not think twice about it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it doesn’t hurt.
“I don’t know whether having cancer has changed my attitude to life. I can’t even say that now I live every day to the fullest… I think I always have, really. At the end of the day, I always want to feel I’ve achieved something. Now, I feel fine, really fine. I’m pretty happy, too. And I’m very fortunate.”
Christopher joined ‘EastEnders’ last year, having previously starred as James Herriot in the comedy-drama ‘All Creatures Great And Small’.
His soap character, Ted, was dealt a blow earlier this year, when he discovered that his beloved wife, Joyce, had died suddenly in her sleep.
For more information, visit the Prostate Cancer UK website.