Entertainment

EastEnders Paul Coker star’s life since leaving soap –  reality TV stint to famous ex

Pam Coker made a shock return to EastEnders earlier this week after hearing about the attack on Ben Mitchell.

The character originally joined the BBC soap in 2014 alongside grandson Paul Coker, played Johnny Labey.

During his time on the square, Paul fell in love with Ben, but the character was later murdered in 2016.

Talking about his exit from the soap, Johnny revealed that he was disappointed to be leaving, telling OK! Magazine: “It wasn’t my choice, but I’m a big believer in everything happens for a reason.

“Like any other job, it’s always about the bigger picture and all you can do, is do the part justice.”

Since leaving the soap, Johnny has had an interesting life both off-screen and onstage taking part in shows such as Celebrity X Factor and performing alongside his famous ex.

Life after Paul Coker



Johnny Labey played Paul Coker in EastEnders from 2014-2016
Johnny Labey played Paul Coker in EastEnders from 2014-2016

Although Paul does not have many TV or film roles credits, the actor has been busy on stage delighting fans in a variety of theatre productions.

Prior to playing Paul Coker, he already had leading roles in productions such as In The Heights and White Christmas.

He has since shown he is just as talented a dancer as he is an actor, wowing audiences in the West End production of Baz Lurman’s Strictly Ballroom.



Johnny was a judge on CBBC show Taking the Next Step
Johnny was a judge on CBBC show Taking the Next Step

In 2021 he also took part in a televised performance of Romeo and Juliet, where he played Paris.

That’s not all, as he has used his own skills to inspire the next generation of performers on the CBBC show Taking The Next Step, where was a judge alongside Marlon Swoosh and Kimberley Wyatt.

And, of course, his unforgettable stint on The X Factor.

X Factor stint



Johnny Labey was a contestant on X Factor: Celebrity in 2019
Johnny Labey was a contestant on X Factor: Celebrity in 2019

Johnny has showed off his impressive musical theatre skills onstage, but he also delighted viewers when he took part in X Factor: Celebrity in 2019.

During his time on the show, he successfully passed the audition stages and wowed the judges with his renditions of songs including Show Me Love.

However, he was eliminated in the second week of live shows and revealed that he was in shock when he was knocked out of the competition.



Johnny Labey was knocked out during week two of the live shows
Johnny Labey was knocked out during week two of the live shows

Johnny told Metro: “It has been a crazy week to be fair, the reaction has been one of the most warming and incredible reactions from anything I have ever done.

“I scroll through my DMs on Instagram and people are being so warm and supportive and it makes me think that everything happens for the right reasons. Obviously, I am sad to go, it was a shock.”

He also added that the reaction from fans was similar to when his character was killed off in EastEnders, adding: “The message that was put across from my character to suddenly getting killed off, and people being shocked and confused by it but then loving towards what it was that I did on the show, was the most heartwarming thing.”

Famous ex



Johnny Labey was engaged to dancer Chrissy Brooke
Johnny Labey was engaged to dancer Chrissy Brooke

After leaving EastEnders, Johnny took part in Dance Dance Dance, where celebrities perform famous routines from music videos.

He was joined by his former fiancee Chrissy Brooke on the show, with the couple going on to perform routines from music videos such as Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time.

Talking at the time about their appearance on the programme, Johnny told the Bailiwick Express: “It’s very rare you get to work with someone you love.



Johnny and Chrissy starred alongside one another in the programme Dance Dance Dance
Johnny and Chrissy starred alongside one another in the programme Dance Dance Dance

“Usually in our business you’re always apart from each other, so that was a huge draw.”

Johnny met professional dancer Chrissy, who has starred in West End Productions such as Wicked in 2015, after they worked together on the theatre production of Strictly Ballroom.

Three years later in 2018, the couple announced their engagement in an emotional Instagram post, smiling for the camera in a photo with the caption: “She said YES… a while back!

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“It was obvious from the moment we met, she’s the perfect balance of kind, beautiful and crazy that I’ll love for the rest of my life!”

However, it has since been reported that the couple are no longer in a relationship and that Johnny is dating dancer Charis Lister.

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on BBC One

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