EastEnders Jamie star 20 years on – stunning partner, hot snaps, job U-turn

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    Jack Ryder played the role of EastEnders ' heartthrob Jamie Mitchell back in the late 90s and early noughties.

    At just 17 years of age, Jack took on the role of Jamie in the beloved BBC One soap opera where he remained from 1998 to 2002.

    20 years ago though, on Christmas Day, the character was killed off in a brutal and heart-breaking storyline which left fans completely heartbroken.

    READ NEXT: EastEnders Jamie Mitchell actor looks completely different 20 years after emotional exit

    But where is the actor two decades later? From appearing on-stage, to popping up in other TV shows and making a huge career U-turn – scroll on to see how different the Jamie star looks these days.

    Tragic EastEnders' death

    While in EastEnders Jack's character's storylines mostly centred around his close relationships with his godfather Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and on-off girlfriend Sonia Jackson (Natalie Cassidy).

    His tragic demise came when he planned to surprise Sonia with a bouquet of flowers.

    Setting off to meet her, he crossed the road outside of Walford Tube station when tragedy struck.

    Sonia's ex and the father of her baby Martin Fowler accidentally runs Jamie over and he ends up hospitalised.

    Dying of liver damage, Sonia was completely distraught, as were the rest of the Mitchells when they found out about the sad news.

    Months prior to his on-screen departure, Jack released a statement which read: "I have decided to leave EastEnders after four fantastic years to pursue other projects.

    "It has not been an easy decision but I felt it was time for me to build on the experience the show has given me and play other parts. EastEnders gave me the best opportunity a young actor could have dreamed of and I will always be grateful to them for that."

    Acting career after Albert Square

    After his EastEnders stint, at just 21 he channelled his inner Justin Timberlake on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, which he won.

    He then started appearing on-stage in theatre productions and popped up in pantomimes like Sleeping Beauty at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.

    In 2004, he played a role in the ITV crime drama MIT: Murder Investigation Team, and in 2007 he appeared in the play The Safari Party by Tim Firth.

    October 2008, saw him join radio drama The Archers as Ryan, and a year later he played the photographer Laurence in the West End production of Calendar Girls.

    Jack then returned to acting and played Gareth in Kay Mellors' BBC drama In the Club which aired in May 2016.

    And his most recent role was in 2019 when he played Evan Crowhurst in medical drama Holby City.

    Career U-turn

    Around two years ago Jack made a huge career U-turn from acting to writing children's books.

    In May 2020 he published his debut children's book Jack’s Secret Summer with Hachette Children's Group.

    He then went on to release Jack's Secret World and Wish.

    Prior to his first book being released, the former soap star said: "Storytelling is something I have always been incredibly passionate about.

    "Writing Jack’s Secret Summer and working with the team at Hachette Children’s Group has been a unique and wonderful experience.

    "I hope that children will love the story and feel inspired by it."

    Kym Marsh marriage and love life since

    Prior to his EastEnders departure, Jack married Hear'Say singer Kym Marsh in an intimate ceremony in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

    The pair wed on August 10, 2002, and then set up a life together in the same area that they married.

    But soon after the pair began their married life, they encountered difficulties and parted ways for a short while before reconciling.

    Jack and Kym then decided to move to Manchester in 2004 where they remained for four years.

    At this point Kym was making a name for herself in Coronation Street.

    And then in 2008 the couple separated before getting divorced.

    Jack now lives between London and France with his girlfriend Ella and their daughter, who was born in 2021.

    Unrecognisable snaps

    Jack is now 41 and looks very different 20 years on from his exit from EastEnders as Jamie Mitchell.

    Hailed as "a mini David Beckham" because of his floppy hair and chiselled good looks while in the soap, Jamie now looks drastically different.

    With shorter hair in a grey hue, often complimented by matching stubble on his face, Jack looks very distinguished and worlds away from Jamie Mitchell.

    Underneath one recent snap posted on his Instagram page back in October, fans flocked to the comments section, with one writing: "Yikes I cant believe how old he looks."

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