The National Television Awards, always an opportunity for soap stars to cast off their usual TV garb for something flashier, didn’t disappoint for red carpet looks this year.
Last week’s awards, which saw the likes of Emmerdale and Danny Dyer take home prizes, also gave soap fans a chance to see what their faves look like IRL.
EastEnders’ Clair Norris, who plays Bernadette Taylor on the BBC show, came in for particular attention in 2019.
As Bernadette, Norris is normally presented on the soap makeup-free and often wearing plain clothing.
At the 2019 NTAs, however, Norris was out of character – and EastEnders fans could barely tell they were looking at the same person.
Responding to an Instagram post by Karen Taylor actress Lorraine Stanley, which featured the Taylor family all dressed up for the awards, one fan noted simply that Norris looked “beautiful”.
There was a similar reaction on Twitter, with Norris’ fans commenting that she looked “stunning” and “absolutely gorgeous”.
National Television Awards 2019? pic.twitter.com/nALuTmiNk8
— Clair Hayley Norris (@clair_norris_) January 24, 2019
While Norris wasn’t nominated for any awards on the night, the EastEnders team was there in force, with the show receiving four nominations.
The soap won one, Serial Drama Performance, for Danny Dyer’s turn as Mick Carter.
But enough about the Taylors. Keep scrolling to see what the Slaters, that other colourful EastEnders family, look like in real life.
The Slaters are well-known in Albert Square for their ‘unique’ fashion sense. In particular, the Slater women love sporting heavy foundation, gold hoop earrings and lots and lots of leopard print. It’s not exactly a look that most people are into these days, but the Slaters clearly haven’t got the memo that it’s 2019.
When the ladies aren’t fighting with each other or trying to deal with some massive family drama, viewers are usually caught up in trying to guess which eye-catching outfits they’ll be sporting this week. They’ve definitely got the furry leopard-print jacket and leather-look jeggings combination down to a fine art.
So what do the actresses who play the extended Slater/Moon/Fowler clan look like behind all of that make-up? The results will definitely surprise you! In the list below we’ve included some amazing photographs of Jessie Wallace and co – thankfully they don’t dress exactly like their on-screen counterparts in real life.
We’ve also included a few photos of the male actors too for good measure so you can check out what Shane Richie (Alfie Moon) and James Bye (Martin Fowler) look like when they’re off-duty. EastEnders fans will definitely want to scroll down and take a look at these amazing celebrity transformations.
Keep scrolling to see just how different the EastEnders cast members look like away from the cameras. Enjoy!
1. Jessie Wallace (Kat Moon)
Jessie Wallace plays the infamous matriarch Kat Moon on EastEnders.
She’s been on the show since 2000 and during that time she’s endured a number of shocking storylines. Kat is the second eldest Slater sister and it’s fair to say that she’s been through a lot with her family over the years – child abuse, infant-swapping and affairs have all formed a large part of Kat’s character.
But when she’s not causing mayhem in Albert Square or just being ‘an absolute b***h’ (as some of her fellow ‘Enders like to call her), Kat is normally stealing the show with her (ahem) glamorous clothing and make-up.
She wouldn’t be anywhere without her trademark gold hoop earrings and heavy fake tan plastered all over the place. So what does Jessie Wallace look like when she’s not playing Kat?
As you can see, the actress might sport a deep tan herself but she’s definitely not one to over-do it on the eye make-up like Kat.
She also looks a little bit more refined than her on-screen counterpart. Kat would definitely turn up to the BAFTAs wearing a shocking pink dress or some leather jeggings.
2. Shane Richie (Alfie Moon)
Shane Richie plays Alfie Moon on EastEnders.
Alfie was initially welcomed into the Slater clan as Kat’s husband, but the pair have had a torrid time of things over the years (in true EastEnders style). Alfie has been a bit of a bad boy himself on the show – fans will know that he’s made some dodgy insurance claims in the past, as well as turning out to be the father of Cherry Slater. Oops!
In the soap, Enders fans will know that Alfie really seems to like his floral shirts. He’s nearly always seen on-screen wearing some sort of dodgy shirt, jeans and occasionally even a pair of cowboy boots. Alfie even looks a little bit orange from time to time, just like his wife Kat.
So what does Shane Richie look like when he’s not acting on EastEnders? Richie normally manages to look quite suave in photo shoots such as the one below:
Not a pink floral shirt in sight. Phew!
Richie’s character recently returned to EastEnders on a permanent basis so we wonder if the costume department will start to change up his look a bit now that he’s starting to get older.
3. Laila Morse (Big Mo)
Big Mo is a firm favourite amongst fans of the Walford soap.
She burst onto Albert Square in 2000 with the rest of her family in tow and quickly proved herself to be a bit of a wheeler dealer. Remember the time she set up a phone sex chatline? Or when she thought it was appropriate to start a sweepstake on who murdered Archie Mitchell?!
As the Slater (grand)matriarch, Mo generally dresses down compared to the rest of her family members. She’s usually more age-appropriate and normally keeps it light on the make-up…
Which is interesting, because in reality, actress Laila Morse seems to like a nice bit of foundation! She must be a true Slater at heart:
Did you know that Laila is actually Gary Oldman’s big sister in real life?
Her first major acting role was in the 1997 film Nil by Mouth, which was written and produced by Gary!
4. Katie Jarvis (Hayley Slater)
Katie Jarvis plays Hayley Slater and is a relative newcomer to the soap.
She first turned up in Walford in early 2018, but that hasn’t stopped her becoming a key member of the Slater clan. And just like so many of her female relatives, fans were unsurprised to see that she definitely follows in Kat’s footsteps when it comes down to the style stakes.
She loves a good hoop earring and can often be seen wearing large, fake fur coats around Albert Square. Hayley also likes to spend some time in front of the mirror too, with heavy make-up a regular feature of her look.
With that in mind, you won’t believe what actress Katie Jarvis actually looks like in real life. Hayley’s style makes Jarvis look a lot older on-screen than she really is. Check her out:
What a transformation! The 27-year-old looks a lot more fresh-faced here compared to her on-screen character in EastEnders.
Would you recognise her walking down the street?
5. Lacey Turner (Stacey Fowler)
Stacey Fowler (also Slater and Branning) has experienced a number of disturbing storylines over the years.
Fans have rallied round the character – played by Lacey Turner – as she has undergone post-pregnancy psychosis, electrocution, rape, and even an act of murder. We have to say that despite Stacey’s family connections, she doesn’t quite go for the same look as the rest of the Slaters.
When she was introduced as a teenager in 2004, Stacey did look a bit more like Kat, with silver hoops and questionable gilets. However, since then she seems to have gone for more of a refined sense of style.
It’s not actually too dissimilar to actress Lacey Turner in real life. But we have to say that Stacey looks a lot fresher and brighter on-screen than the actress who plays her:
Yikes! Apparently this photograph was taken the morning after the NTA awards but still…
We can’t imagine Stacey walking around Albert Square with zero make-up on!
6. James Bye (Martin Fowler)
The character of Martin Fowler has been played by a few actors over the years.
First off it was Jon Peyton-Price, and then James Alexandrou stepped into the role from 1996 until 2007. Finally, when Martin was reintroduced in 2014, James Bye became the new incarnation of Martin.
Bye was cast as a friendly face that ‘Enders viewers would find relatable and charming – he’s certainly managed to pull that off as the happy-go-lucky market trader.
In reality, Bye actually rocks a very different look to his on-screen counterpart. Check out the actor turning up to an awards event in 2017:
He’s got the hipster look down to a tee – cardigan and thick-rimmed glasses, nice!
We’re fairly sure we’ll never see Martin Fowler wearing this get-up round Albert Square.
7. Gillian Wright (Jean Slater)
Jean Slater is slightly different to some of her family members.
She’s an optimist and very kind-hearted, but don’t be fooled by appearances – she’s still got the same hard Slater genetic and can stand up to bullies when needed. Jean has an interesting sense of style and has been seen in some strange outfits over the years.
She does like to wear patterns and can often be seen in big fur coats with plenty of colours splashed about the place. However, it’s fair to say that she’s not as big on the fake tan as her fellow Slaters.
In reality, actress Gillian Wright prefers a dressier look and probably wears more make-up than her EastEnders character:
What do you think of the transformation? Jean looks very different in this photograph!
We think it suits her though…what about you?
8. Maisie Smith (Tiffany Butcher)
Maisie Smith plays Tiffany Butcher on EastEnders.
And it’s probably fair to say that if you looked up the word ‘chav’ in the dictionary, you’d probably find a photograph of Tiffany staring straight back at you.
Her signature looks often include leopard print (definitely a Slater girl at heart), and she seems to like sporting questionable metallic jackets and/or tight crop tops. Tiffany doesn’t seem to have realised that it’s not the 1990s anymore!
Thankfully actress Maisie Smith hasn’t decided to replicate her EastEnder’s character away from the cameras. Instead she looks like a bit of a bombshell:
Maisie actually looks ridiculously grown-up compared to Tiffany.
It just goes to show what getting rid of the daft hairstyles and pre-teen outfits can really do for a young woman.
9. Shona McGarty (Whitney Dean)
Shona McGarty has played Whitney Dean since 2008.
Whitney definitely has an eye-catching look of her own on the series – in terms of clothing, she likes to accessorise necklaces with brightly-coloured t-shirts and occasionally the odd pink washed-denim hoodie (see below).
Throw some gold earrings into the mix – along with a high and tight ponytail plus plenty of make-up – and you’re in business.
So what does actress Shona McGarty look like in real life? McGarty has a really nice sense of style in reality and often looks sophisticated at TV awards ceremonies:
That’s quite the transformation! She looks far more sophisticated than her Walford character.
Maybe Shona should be speaking to the EastEnders costume department…
10. Michelle Ryan (Zoe Slater)
Michelle Ryan famously played Zoe Slater on EastEnders.
And rumour has it that the actress will soon be returning to Albert Square! That’s right – we might see Zoe back in Walford and stirring up the drama very soon. To celebrate, we’ve included her on our list:
Zoe Slater had a distinctive look of her own – her long hair was usually straightened to death and she was fond of wearing jeans and vest tops, even in the middle of winter.
On the other hand, Michelle Ryan looks very different to her fresh-faced on-screen ‘Enders character. Check out the photo below:
She’s sporting a much deeper tan than Zoe ever did, and she looks much more grown-up too!
Will we be seeing her in the near future?