SOME like it hot – but ex-Hollyoaks heart-throb Ricky Whittle likes it extra hot.

However, he was referring to the chicken dinner he enjoyed before greeting fans at the reopening of Yates’s bar in Wrexham following a £170,000 refurbishment.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star had tucked in at the Wrexham branch of Nando’s, at Eagles Meadow, before speaking to the Leader and meeting admirers at the bar in the town’s High Street.

And he joked he would be able to multi-task by signing autographs and answering questions at the same time.

Ricky, 27, said: “I’ve been all over the country with Yates’s, from Nottingham to Blackpool.

“I’ve been to Wrexham once before to the football club for celebrity soccer sixes.”

Although Ricky has been busy promoting the pub and – as he puts it – “getting paid” for nights out, in his spare time he loves nothing more than a relaxing night at home.

He revealed: “I used to be more of a party boy but I’m more settled now.

“I chose to live between Manchester and Liverpool so that it’s an effort to go out to either place.

“I love going to the cinema, meals, bowling and to stay in.

“If I go out, it’s difficult with the attention – but I’ve only been in a soap and Strictly. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who are more famous.”

Before Ricky got to the pub he went online to see if there was a Nando’s in Wrexham.

Asked how he likes his chicken the former Dream Team star said: “Extra hot!”

Ricky was axed from Chester soap Hollyoaks where he played heartthrob Calvin Valentine, in May.

So does he miss the show?

“No, it was so much stress. I miss the people because you just go out together all the time.”

But Ricky explained that he felt his character was changed completely when a new producer came in.

“As an actor, you’re looking for the truth in what you do,” he said.

“At times we would be changing the lines because there was no continuity.”

Ricky and his dancing partner Natalie Lowe narrowly missed out on winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2009.

“Strictly is going to be interesting this year,” he said.

“Anyone who has my dance partner, Natalie Lowe, will do well.”

But his money’s on Kara Tointon, who he worked with in Dream Team, to win the series.

He added: “She’s got the moves, she’s sexy and she’s got that ‘phwoar!’.”

Ricky later met customers at the pub in High Street and signed autographs for the fans who had come to meet him.

Yates’s has had an extensive makeover in just 10 days including new furniture, softer furnishings and a new art lighting and sound system.