TV star Cliff Parisi reveals his past as a bank robber and tells the Sunday Mirror: “I went off the rails… I deeply regret it.”
The I’m A Celeb contestant was sentenced to 18 months for his part in the raid.
He was living in North London at the time. Some gang members were believed to have been armed and one received a significant sentence.
Cliff, 59 – who shot to fame as Minty in EastEnders and now stars as Fred Buckle in Call the Midwife – says: “At the age of 19, I went off the rails and got involved with a bank robbery and I was jailed for 18 months.
“During my incarceration I spent my time learning how to read and write properly.
“And after my release I pursued my acting career with vigour and have been lucky enough to work professionally in acting for over 30 years.
“This has hung over me like a black cloud. It was a massive mistake that I made and I deeply regret it.
“I am relieved that it is now out and I hope that people will find it in their hearts to forgive me.
“No one regrets it more than I do. I also hope it inspires young men in jail not to give up hope. It is possible to get your life back on track again.”
Father-of-four Cliff’s criminal shame from 1979 has never been revealed.
A source who knew Cliff in his teenage days said: “He became friends with this group of people who were doing really dodgy things.
“He was very different to how he is today….