The EastEnders heart-throb has changed so much over the years...

Over the years we’ve seen stars come and go from Albert Square, but while some have gone on to be big stars in the TV world, others have almost vanished. Take Jack Ryder for example…

Jack Ryder is best known for playing Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders from 1998 to 2002. His character was brought up by his uncle, Billy Mitchell, after the death of his father. Horribly, Billy used to beat his nephew, and this prompted Jamie’s godfather, Phil Mitchell, to raise him as his surrogate son.

Jack’s role in the soap wasn’t a life-long dream though. The 36-year-old admitted, “EastEnders came about by accident when I was 16. I went to a workshop with a mate, who wanted to audition, and I was spotted. I’d never even done a school play before then.”

His star then seriously rose when he married Hear’Say band member turned Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh in August 2002. Their first encounter was in a BBC canteen when she appeared on Top of the Pops. Kym revealed in her autobiography that she “could sense something between them”.

Sadly, that special ‘something’ didn’t last though.

The couple divorced in 2009 and maintained that the spilt was amicable. In December that same year, the singer began dating Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas – who she later went on to marry but subsequently divorced.

So what’s Jack been up to since then?

Well, since leaving the soap that made him famous, Jack established a career in the world of directing film and theatre. This year, he stepped back into the limelight, and was photographed at Take That’s musical, The Band, which he directed.

Last year, he also directed The Fully Monty tour. On top of that, he’s appeared in a number of films, such as Popcorn, and starred in the West End show, Calendar Girls.

Although it’s been years Jack is still friendly with his EastEnders colleagues. Dean Gaffney, who plays Robbie Fowler, posted an unrecognisable snap of the star on on Instagram, sporting a skinhead and glasses. He captioned it, “Wow what a change… Love this guy… But how many of you will know who this is… #ryder!”

Wow! Hasn’t he changed?

From our sister site CelebsNow.