The soap stars who quit fame for real jobs including an EastEnders star firefighter and a cheesemaker

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Being a soap star on programmes such as EastEnders, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks is the dream of many actors.

However, what do they do after they've achieved it?

Emmerdale’s Adam Thomas

The 32-year-old actor left Emmerdale in 2018 after seven years on the soap as Adam Barton.

Adam, who shares son Teddy and daughter Elsie-Rose with wife Caroline Daly, revealed in 2018 that he had started working as an estate agent after leaving the ITV soap.

In a post on Instagram in September 2018, he wrote: “When you see this and you think they’ll be talking about my new role for the bbc or the new musical am starring in but no … my new role as an estate agent haha.

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“Just to clarify my job title is property exec it sounds better … and yes I am working in the property industry in between jobs because as a jobbing actor you can be out of work… that’s just the nature of the business…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…”

Adam also runs a burger joint The Spinn in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, with his friend Scott Graham.

EastEnders’ Katie Jarvis

The 29-year-old actress joined the cast of EastEnders in 2018 as Hayley Slater – the cousin of Kat Slater.

Katie was at the centre of a gripping EastEnders storyline when her character Hayley was secretly sleeping with Kat’s husband Alfie Moon.

The mum-of-two, from Dagenham, left the BBC soap in 2019 and started working as a security guard at B&M Bargains in Romford, Essex.

She told the Daily Star Sunday: “I’ve taken a step back from acting. I’ve got a job and I’m looking after my kids.”

Coronation Street’s Ruxandra Porojnicu

Ruxandra, 27, starred in Coronation Street between April and August 2019 as Seb Franklin’s love interest – Alina Pop.

She returned to the cobbles in February last year and her character got a job working at Underworld.

In 2019 Ruxandra revealed on Twitter she had worked in a café during the summer alongside filming for the ITV soap.

She penned: “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 6 months of living any actor's dream to work on set full time.”

She continued: “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.”

Coronation Street’s Sean Wilson

Sean starred in Coronation Street as Martin Platt for 20 years until he left the soap in 2005.

The actor, 55, who was married to Gail Platt and dad to David Platt, started dating actress Susie Fenwick after his long stint on the ITV soap.

And the pair set up an award-winning cheese-making business, Saddleworth Cheese Company.

In 2013 Sean published The Great Northern Cookbook which went onto have a four-part Channel 5 series.

Meanwhile the top cheesemaker announced in 2018 that he had returned to Reaseheath College as a lecturer in cheese.

Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas

The brother of Emmerdale’s Adam Thomas, who shares son Roman with fiancée Lucy Mecklenburgh, played Jason Grimshaw in Corrie for 16 years.

Ryan went onto play Rafael Humphreys in Neighbours but later revealed he has ‘lost the bug’ for acting.


But the dad-of-two, 36, who also shares daughter Scarlett, 12, with actress Tina O’Brien, revealed earlier this month that he was helping out at his brother's restaurant The Spinn as a delivery driver.

Meanwhile Ryan and Lucy are also currently renovating an Edwardian house in Cheshire.

EastEnders’ Tony Watt

The actor, now 65, joined EastEnders as an original cast member in 1985 as Lofty Holloway.

His character became close to 16-year-old Michelle Fowler, who was already pregnant, in 1986, and Lofty was later jilted at the altar by the teen mum.

In 1988 Lofty was over the moon after learning Michelle was pregnant again with his baby but left Walford after she confessed to an abortion.

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After leaving the BBC soap, Tom pursued his love for football as a writer with a podcast.

EastEnders’ Tony Discipline

The 31-year-old player actor played Tyler Moon in EastEnders from 2011 until 2013.

And the former BBC soap star has recently revealed he is a firefighter for the London Fire Brigade.

However the actor told The Sun how he is still mistaken for a soap star, adding: “I was walking back to the fire truck and someone walked past and said: ‘oh my God, what are you filming?’

Coronation Street’s Kevin Kennedy

Actor Kevin Kennedy starred as Curly Watts for 20 years in Corrie before leaving the soap in 2003.

Following his departure from Weatherfield, the 59-year-old worked alongside his wife Clare for Cornstone Recovery Services – overseeing the distribution of telephone advice and recovery services to the business sector.

Kevin also set up an addiction recovery charity, Kennedy Street Foundation, with his wife Clare in 2016 following his own battle with alcohol 22 years ago.

Hollyoaks' Jeremy Edwards

Jeremy Edwards famous for his roles on both Hollyoaks and Holby City.

He also took part in the third series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2005, so it was surprising for some when, in 2011, he was pictured carrying out manual labour work, working for a friend’s landscape gardening business.

"Gardening is harder than the gym," Jeremy told OK! magazine at the time.

"I'm gaining muscles, I'm even on protein shakes because I'm lifting all day!"

Hollyoaks’ Gemma Merna

Gemma was best known for playing Carmel McQueen in Hollyoaks from 2006 until 2014.

However since leaving the soap the actress has taken up a different career.

She is now a yoga instructor and a meditation teacher.

Emmerdale’s Bill Ward

The 54-year-old actor played builder Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street from 2003 until 2007 when his character was killed by Tracey Barlow in a domestic abuse storyline.

After leaving the cobbles, Bill starred in Emmerdale as James Barton in 2013 before his character was killed in October 2016.

Since leaving soap-land Bill has taken up roles on stage including retired drag queen Hugo/Loco Chanelle in the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre.

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