Ex-EastEnder Star, Jack Ryder, Looks Unrecognisable As He Returns To Our Screens

Jack Ryder will be returning to our screens next week as Holby City’s Evan Crowhurst.

The former teen-heartthrob is looking a whole lot different (older) from what EastEnders fans will remember.

Jack rose to fame as the cute Jamie Mitchell on Albert Square before leaving back in 2002, a whopping 17 years ago.

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His exit from the show was one of the soap’s saddest deaths, as an unconsolable Sonia Jackson, played by Natalia Cassidy, kissed her dying lover goodbye on Christmas Day after he was run over by love rival, Martin Fowler.

Nowadays, Jack is looking much more mature and slick, a long way from the blonde curtained hair he was known for on EastEnders.

The actor is now 37 and has a spot of silver to his hair, something that will delight his fans.

His roles after the soap have seen him appear in Single Spies, Popcorn and The Archers. He has also been in the touring production of the Full Monty.

Fans of Holby are now waiting to see what is in store for Evan, the boyfriend of newcomer Chloe Goddard.

His first scenes will air next week.

He said: “I’m looking forward to working with such a talented group of people.

“I can’t wait to give a voice to this exciting new character and serve a show that people love.”

Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Holby City and Casualty, teased that fans should be excited.

“We’ve been talking to Jack for a while to find the right part for him on Holby and his powerful, nuanced audition for Evan blew us away,” he explained.

“He’s both a household name and a superb actor, and fans who remember him as Jamie in EastEnders are in for a big treat and quite a surprise seeing him in this very different role.

“Evan is a complex, alpha surgeon who makes some major waves in Holby.”

Why not take a look at what other characters from the soap are up to today…

1. Todd Carty (AKA Mark Fowler)

Then…

Source: BBC

Character Todd Carty was originally a teenage lad known for his rebellious nature, dealings with gangs, and riding a motorbike portrayed by David Scarboro.

However, upon his return to Albert Square some years later, Todd was given a fresh face and a new start when Mark Fowler took the role.

Todd bravely stood up to the prejudice he received from other members of the Square when they found out he was HIV positive. He was treated awfully, and with Peggy Mitchell at the head of the bigotry, people of Walford truly did their best to make Todd’s life a living hell: his home was graffiti-ed, his stall was boycotted, and he was generally treated as lesser. Even his love life sucked, and he had a string of lovers that either passed away or didn’t work out for whatever reason – even after he married one of them!

Still, none of that took away Mark’s independence, which is why he found it so difficult to cope with the restrictions of his illness. The final time we saw him on screen was tragic, and he hopped onto his bike and left the Square for good shortly after learning that HIV would soon take his life. He didn’t want friends and family to see him slowly deteriorate, so he left them with this final memory instead.

Now…

Source: PA | Alamy

But has he been up to since then? Todd is most recognised for joining the cast of in The Bill after leaving EastEnders, starring as PC Gabriel Kent – a cold and unhinged officer working at Sun Hill.

The role seems like a challenging one and with the character Gabriel slowly evolving into a rapist and serial killer over time, this time Todd got to play the villain.

The actor has also appeared on stage – starring in Spamalot alongside other famous faces like Joe Pasquale and Bonnie Langford.

Source: StaffsLive

2. Martine McCutcheon (AKA Tiffany Mitchell)

Then…

Source: BBC

You’ll remember Martine as Tiffany Mitchell in EastEnders – Tiff for short. She was besties with Bianca and a very bold character who couldn’t resist a good flirt! However, her life went downhill after she became an item with and eventually married the cruel Grant Mitchell.

Abusive men weren’t new to her, either. Her own father was an alcoholic and was the cause of her miscarriage after pushing his daughter down the stairs. Unfortunately, her husband didn’t turn out much better, and only sought to control her.

Now and then, Tiff would try to escape Grant’s clutches, culminating with him snatching their baby daughter Courtney, and Tiffany meeting her end after being hit with Frank Butcher’s car.

Heartbroken by the loss of her best friend, Bianca would go on to name her youngest daughter after her in her memory.

Now…

Since leaving Eastenders, Martine has starred in the much loved chick flick Love Actually as character Nataliebut even that was 14 years ago now! She even reprised her role in the TV follow-up to the film, which aired on red nose day this year.

Currently, and is one of the panellists of ITV’s Loose Women, where she has spoken out about her terrifying assault by a catcaller who reached out of his car and dragged her by the coat collar after firing “violent sexual comments” at her.

And, as you can see, she also sporting a new shorter haircut which is reminiscent of her days as Tiffany!

3. Tamzin Outhwaite (AKA Melanie Owen)

Then…

Source: BBC

As a sister to a vicar, Mel Healy was seemingly a good girl, but she fell for bad men – Dan Sullivan, Steve Owen, and even her best friend’s partner Phil Mitchell! She ended up unwisely marrying Ian Beale, but ended the relationship just minutes after their wedding when she found out that he had been lying to her about his daughter Lucy having cancer just to reel her in.

Her next relationship with Steve seemed genuine, but shortly after his death she discovered that she had been set up when she got arrested for drug smuggling.

But a pregnant Mel escaped the law and ran away to Portugal, with Phil left behind to pay for her bail.

Now…

Tamzin is a mother of two and, impressively enough, has had many acting roles since leaving the soap. She appeared in the British drama Red Cap as Sgt.

Jo McDonagh, and more famously in New Tricks as DCI Sasha Miller for a whopping 12 years! It was this show that Tamzin said helped her out of her heartbreak…

Sadly, she has since split with her husband Tom Ellis (who you’ll recognise from Miranda) last year, but since her divorce has took to the West End to star in The Other Half Loves. She vowed to “eat well, exercise more and be good to [herself]”, as well as spend more time with her kids.

4. Shobu Kapoor (AKA Gita Kapoor)

Then…

Shobu starred as Gita Kapoor on EastEnders, the wife of Sanjay Kapoor who was well known for her fiery temper that kept him in check.

After having a difficult time with motherhood and suffering postnatal depression, Gita began to suspect that her husband was having an affair, but all of it comes to nothing and after her embarrassing outburst she goes to stay with a relative.

However, upon her return she catches Sanjay asleep in bed with her sister Meena. Without a second thought, she disowned her sister and threw out Sanjay, but their rocky marriage did continue up until their last appearance on the soap.

Source: BBC

Shobu has since had brief roles in both Casualty  and Doctors, and you might even recognise her from Bend It Like Beckham!

However, she is more famously known for playing Razis Khan (Mrs. Khan) in the TV comedy Citizen Khan.

5. Sean Maguire (Aidan Brosnan)

Then…

Source: EastEnders Wiki

Irish apprentice footballer Aidan was probably best remembered for his turbulent relationship with Mandy Salter, who leads Aidan down all the wrong paths and would ultimately be the cause of Aidan’s struggles with alcohol.

After a drunken injury to his leg left him unable to play football again, Aidan winds up taking ecstasy when clubbing and is hospitalised. Aidan would eventually end up depressed as his life continues to worsen, and is even disowned by his parents.

He left Walford shortly after his suicide attempt, and despite Mandy begging him to stay, continues on to Ireland to attempt to reconcile with his parents.

Now…

Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez | Getty Images

Handsome Sean has since appeared on The Class on CBS, and he also landed the role of Robin Hood on Once Upon A Time. However, since his character on the latter has been killed off, Sean has made it pretty clear that he wasn’t happy with how his character met his demise:

“I felt like it was an abrupt end; I didn’t feel the character had any development this year and wasn’t really written for,” said the actor to THR.

The star regularly updates his Twitter, and recently treated us to this hilarious exchange:

6. Richard Elis (Huw Edwards)

Source: BBC One

Huw Edwards was a friendly young man from Wales who, along with his best friend Lenny Wallace, ran a pirate radio station from their squat in Albert Square.

You might remember him doing his best to annoy Ian Beale, or crushing on Ruth Fowler before he left to live with abstract artist Carrie Swann.

Source: @relis | Twitter

Richard went on to appear in a few Welsh TV shows, such as 35 Diwrnod. He also made an appearance in Black Mountain Poets, the 2015 movie.

7. Paul Nicholls (Joe Wicks)

Source: BBC One

Joe Wicks did not have a happy life even for a soap character. He turned up to live with his father, David Wicks, after his sister Karen died in a car accident.

Joe blamed himself for his sister’s death, and this trauma was given as part of the cause of his schizophrenia.

Joe left the square with his mother after calling off his engagement to Sarah Hills, but he was still mentioned by his father as recently as 2012.

Source: ITV

Paul continues to act on TV and is now seen on Law and Order: UK as well as Holby City.

He’s also been on series two of In the Club.

8. Nadia Sawalha (Annie Palmer)

Source: BBC One

Annie was a smart woman, but that didn’t stop her from running a series of shady operations – first using the print-shop “By The Letter” as a front, and then the nightclub “The Market Cellar” (previously called “The Cobra Club”). She ran a whole empire of businesses around Albert Square, but eventually moved to New Zealand with her father, George Palmer.

Source: Ian Gavan | Getty Images

Nadia co-presented The One Show from 2006 to 2007.

She’s also made appearances on Loose Women and Celebrity Big Brother.

9. Michelle Collins (Cindy Beale)

Source: BBC One

Do you remember Ian Beale’s first wife, Cindy? Their marriage was far from easy – she had multiple affairs, and she even hired a hitman to kill him! She died in childbirth while she was in jail for attempted murder.

Source: Anthony Harvey | Getty Images

Michelle has since appeared in dramas since leaving the soap, like Death in Paradise and Midsummer Murders.

10. Michael Greco (Beppe di Marco)

Source: BBC One

Beppe was quite the heartthrob, with lots of disastrous relationships under his belt.

He was fired from the police force after he tried to frame Grant Mitchell, much to the horror of his family.

Source: Claire Greenway | Getty Images

Michael is now a professional poker player, and has previously had a role on Revenge. He’s also had a role on Casualty as cop Phil Paterson.

11. Martin Kemp (Steve Owen)

Source: BBC One

Steve Owen was a notorious villain in Albert Square.

He murdered his ex-girlfriend, Saskia Duncan, and framed Matthew Rose. He was also one of the prime suspects in the attempted murder of Phil Mitchell, and died in an epic car chase.

Source: Jeff Spicer | Getty Images

Martin has been on TV dramas such as Brides in the BathBirds of a Feather, and Hustle.

12. Lucy Speed (Natalie Evans)

Source: BBC One

Natalie was in a dramatic love triangle with Ricky Butcher and Bianca Jackson as teenagers. Later, she wound up marrying Barry Evans after he contacted her dating agency, “Romantic Relations”, in a joint wedding with Ian Beale and Melanie Healy.

They divorced after she cheated on him with her old flame, Ricky. She left not long after her ex-husband was murdered.

Source: @lucyspeed | Twitter

Lucy was on The Bill between the years of 2007 and 2010. She also appeared alongside Julie Walters in National Treasure.

13. Michelle Gayle (Hattie Tavernier)

Source: BBC One

Hattie was a smart young woman who didn’t rely on other people too much.

She stayed in the show for longer than most other members of the Tavenier family, and had to deal with a range of difficult issues. As a teenager, she was sexually harassed by her boss, Ian Beale. Then, just before her departure from the show, she had a miscarriage.

Source: Gareth Catermole | Getty Images

Michelle is now starring as Imara in CBBC’s Wolfblood, and is also a singer.

14. Debbie Arnold (April Branning)

Source: BBC One

April was the sister of Carol Jackson, and was left at the alter by Nikos.

She did eventually get to marry Nikos when he returned begging for her to give him another chance, however.

Source: ITV

Debbie went on to appear in two other soaps since she left EastEnders – namely Hollyoaks and Coronation Street.

15. Daniela Denby-Ashe (Sarah Hills)

Source: BBC One

Sarah was the daughter of Irene and Ted Hills. She shoplifted from several stalls at the market, and was forced into a religious cult by the man who caught her.

Despite being strongly Christian, she has sex with Robbie Jackson, then runs away in shame to live in the streets. She returned to find that her dad, thinking Robbie had raped her, beat him up so badly that he was hospitalised.

She moved in with her aunt and uncle, Kathy and Phil Mitchell, after this. She was engaged twice, both times ending badly, and left Walford to go to university.

Source: BBC One

Daniela appeared on My Family as Janey between 2000 and 2011. Later on, she’s star as Lorrain Donnegan in Waterloo Road.