Soap stars who’ve quit fame for normal jobs – from delivery drivers to B&M security guard

Soap stars who’ve quit fame for normal jobs – from delivery drivers to B&M security guard

May 6, 2021

SHOWBIZ life can be gruelling, so it’s no wonder a number of soap stars have shunned fame for ordinary jobs.

Here’s a round-up of celebrities who have traded the limelight for a more normal 9-5 occupation…

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EastEnders' Charlie Clements

'Enders fans were left heartbroken in 2010 when lovable Bradley Branning, played by Charlie Clements, plummeted to his death after falling off the Queen Vic.

Earlier this week, the actor – now 33 – revealed that he had been working as a chef in order to make ends meet during lockdown.

Charlie proudly posted a photo in his uniform, but added that he is returning to acting as he teased rehearsals for a mystery project starting next week.

Emmerdale's Samantha Giles

Since leaving the 'Dales in 2019, 49-year-old Samantha Giles has enjoyed quite the career change.

After playing Bernice Blackstock in the ITV soap for two decades, the actress turned to selling spells online – launching a website to sell all things magical.

These include an £18 Magic Kit, and £16.99 Phoenix Spell – among others.

She has also tried her hand at writing, publishing children's book Rosemary And The Witches of Pendle Hill during lockdown.

Hollyoaks' Adam Rickitt

Adam, 42, is basically soap royalty having first found fame playing Nick Tilsley in Coronation Street back in the '90s.

He went on to star as Kyle Kelly in Hollyoaks, but after his final appearance in June 2020 he turned his attention to craft beer and posh gins.

The actor and his GMB correspondent wife Katy Fawcett bough their own shop in Cheshire at the end of 2019, and ran takeaway and delivery services during lockdown.

EastEnders' Hetti Bywater

Stunning Hetti took over the role of Lucy Beale in 2012, and was central to a huge Whodunnit? storyline two years later.

The nation was rocked when it was revealed that the character's little brother Bobby had murdered her – with Hetti previously admitting that she "hated" Lucy.

The 26-year-old has had other acting roles since leaving Walford, but has also been spotted pulling pints in a London pub while between jobs.

Emmerdale’s Adam Thomas

Adam Thomas left his role as Adam Barton in 2018 after seven years on the show. 

But after quitting the soap, Adam didn’t sit on his laurels and bagged a role as an estate agent in Manchester. 

In an Instagram post back in 2018, he revealed: “I haven’t, nor will I ever, turn my back on acting but I have a family to support and will carry on doing so… whether it be acting or otherwise.”

EastEnders’ Katie Jarvis

Katie Jarvis found fame as Kat Slater’s boisterous cousin Hayley in EastEnders until February 2019. 

But after departing from the Square, Katie decided to take a break from acting. 

She did a stint on the door at her local B&M in Romford, East London, revealing at the time:  “I’ve taken a step back from acting. I’ve got a job and I’m looking after my kids.”

Corrie's Ruxandra Porojnicu

Coronation Street’s Ruxandra Porojnicu – who plays lovable Alina Pop – revealed she worked a gruelling job in a cafe in the summer of 2019 alongside filming to make ends meet.

She revealed on Twitter at the time: "I worked all summer in a cafe and I will keep this job for as long as I can while also going up to Manchester and film.

"And yes, it wasn't easy after six months of living any actor's dream to work on set full time.

"I wanted to quit and I cried a lot because it's so stressful working in customer service!

"Also, I couldn't believe I have to do it again. Imagine having a family to take care of! Is not easy being constantly with or without job. Is true it affects your mental health as an actor!!

"But hey! There was no other alternative right away, didn't know what the future will bring and I couldn't just wait without doing anything.

"There's no shame in working. I would rather feel ashamed being lazy and complain I don't have money or ask my family to provide for me."

Corrie’s Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson had a long stint in Coronation Street as Martin Platt, but eventually decided to trade the cobbles to pursue his passion for the fine art of cheese-making.

After quitting Corrie in 2005, Sean started dating actress Susie Fenwick and the pair set up a cheese-making business, Saddleworth Cheese Company.

Sean went on to win three gongs at the British Cheese Awards.

In 2013, the top cheesemaker published The Great Northern Cookbook which was accompanied by a four-part Channel 5 TV series of the same name.

And in 2018, Sean announced he was returning to Reaseheath College to become a lecturer in cheese.

He explained at the time: "I’ll be returning to the class where it all started 10 years ago, as the lecturer."

Corrie's Ryan Thomas

Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas recently revealed he’d traded the limelight to become a delivery driver.

Ryan played Corrie's Jason Grimshaw for 16 years before joining Neighbours as Rafael Humphreys, but revealed earlier this month that he’d thrown in the towel and had been helping out his brother, Emmerdale star Adam, who runs a burger joint.

Speaking on the popular Mancs On The Mic show with his brothers Adam and Scott recently, Ryan explained his decision: "It's so hard for me. I started off acting, I started off in that game and I really lost the bug for it.

"I feel the reason for losing the bug is rejection and going to auditions and not getting them."

He added that he was upset after reading negative comments about his acting performances in Australia on social media.

Ryan said: "I went over to do Neighbours and I just saw on social media that there were just quite negative comments towards me and my acting.

"I’ve never had that before because social media wasn’t around. I never got it in Corrie because I never had social media when I was in Corrie."

EastEnders’ Tom Watt

Tom Watt rose to fame as one of EastEnders' original cast members, Walford’s biggest geek Lofty.

Tom was involved in a number of dramatic storylines including being jilted at the altar by teen mum Michelle Fowler.

But Tom eventually swapped his role to follow his passion for sport and became a successful football writer and podcaster. 

EastEnders’ Tony Discipline

EastEnders actor Tony Discipline played Tyler Moon in EastEnders, but he refused to let fame go to his head – and became a firefighter after quitting his role on the soap. 

However, Tony recently admitted that his time on the popular BBC show still comes back to haunt him. 

Speaking about how fans still assume his fire brigade uniform is for a new role, he revealed: “I was walking back to the fire truck and someone walked past and said: ‘oh my God, what are you filming?’”

Tony recalls. “I said: ‘no, I’m firefighter,’ and he said: ‘no, what is it? What show’s it for?’

“There have been a few occasions like that.”

Corrie's Kevin Kennedy

Kevin Kennedy played Corrie's unlucky-in-love supermarket manager Curly Watts for a whopping 20 years but left the soap in 2003 to focus on other projects.

The ex-Corrie star launched the Kennedy Street Foundation, an addiction recovery charity, after going on his own journey of recovery from alcohol addiction for 22 years.

In August, Kevin told Manchester Evening News: “The Kennedy Street Foundation is my passion; all we want to do is help people who find themselves in the desperate situation I was in 22 years ago.

"Our national recovery helpline is receiving calls every day and we really need to raise as much money as possible in order to be able to help each and every one start their own Road2Recovery.”

Hollyoaks’ Jeremy Edwards

Serial soap actor Jeremy Edwards played Kurt Benson in Hollyoaks between 1995 and 1999, before going on to play Danny Shaughnessy in Holby City.

When acting work dried up, he announced he was “happy to graft to pay the bills” and became a labourer.

In 2011, he was pictured grafting for a friend’s landscape gardening business. 

The former Hollyoaks star also tried his hand at being a security guard.

He couldn’t stay away from the spotlight forever, however, and appeared on the celebrity version of X Factor in 2019.

Emmerdale’s Bill Ward 

Ex-Emmerdale star Bill Ward revealed last year that he was making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic with a new job as a Tesco delivery driver.

Bill played James Barton in Emmerdale until 2017, and also had a stint in Coronation Street back in 2003 as Charlie Stubbs, but turned his hand to stage acting a few years ago.

But when his tour with The Glee Club was cancelled last year, the former Emmerdale actor announced he'd switched to a career on the road.

Speaking to Bristol Post at the time, Bill revealed: “Towards the end of May it started to become clear that the pandemic wasn’t going away. And if anything it was going to get worse.

"That's when you look at the rest of the year ahead and think, 'Okay, I need to make a living this year; how are we going to do that as a family?'”

Hollyoaks’ Gemma Merna

Gemma played Carmen on the Channel 4 soap from 2006 until 2014. 

In 2007, she won Best Comedy Performance at the British Soap Awards. 

But after departing Hollyoaks, Gemma threw in the towel to focus on her fitness career.

She went on to work as a yoga instructor and personal trainer.

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