Bill Nighy has admitted he frequently considered quitting acting because he "just hated" it for years.

The 68-year-old Love Actually star revealed he thought about giving up his television and film career on a weekly basis but stuck with it because he did not know what to do instead.

Speaking to Radio Times magazine, Nighy said: "I thought of quitting, if not daily, then weekly. I was so unhappy. I just hated it, for years."

"It's not unpleasant all the time, and you work with great people and I am proud of some of the things I've done."

"You get a degree of satisfaction when it's over, but the actual process is never satisfactory."

Nighy said he kept going because he "couldn't think of anything else to do".

"I flunked school - not that that would prevent you from doing anything in life - but I didn't have any other ideas," he said.

"I was deeply self-conscious, which you are supposed to be. Every actor is self conscious."

The BAFTA star admits he also avoids watching himself on television: "I tried that when I was young and less complicated to look at, and it was bloody awful.

"I was third bank robber in Softly, Softly (1976). I was staying in digs with some people - they were all crowded in the front room, and then I came on TV. I walked out, it was so terrible.

"I had a phoney accent, which was just not committed enough, and my hair, obviously. Oh!"

Nighy can next be seen as Leo Argyll, an amateur Egyptologist, in a new three-part BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie's Ordeal by Innocence.