Ex-Eastenders star James Alexandrou hits red carpet with friend years after leaving Walford behind

Ex-EastEnders star James Alexandrou made a return to showbiz 15 years after leaving Walford.

James, 37, is best known for playing Martin Fowler on the long-running BBC soap from 1996 until 2007 when he left the soap. He has kept a relatively low profile since. The role of Martin is now portrayed by James Bye, who first landed in Walford in 2014.

James has now made a rare public appearance on the red carpet for the 2:22 – A Ghost Story gala performance at The Criterion Theatre last week.

He looked cool and casual in a denim shirt that he paired with a pair of black jeans, Doc Marten boots and a dark-coloured bomber jacket as he supported his pal Beatriz Romilly, who has been cast in the production.

The West End show originally premiered in August 2021, with Smile singer, Lily Allen and former Eastenders actor Jake Wood leading the cast.

Now, the show is back in theatres with a new all-star cast including Harry Potter star Tom Felton, alongside Mandip Gill, Beatriz Romilly and Sam Swainsbury.

After watching the performance, James tweeted: "If u know… @222aghoststory delayed but thanks 4 the rollercoaster on Friday. Congrats 2 my mate #beatrizromilly congrats 2 @TomFelton ’s stage debut + #mandipgill + #samswainsbury were brilliant. @dunster_matthew as usual, smashed it+ fellow Greek Cypriot @SophiaHannides – yes!"

As well as being an actor, James has also turned his hand to filmmaking and has created a number of independent short films – one of which was selected for the 2017 East End Film Festival.

After more than 10 years on EastEnders James left the show, aged 21, in 2007 after his character Martin left Albert Square with his wife, Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy.

As his character was not killed off, it was thought that James might return, but James ruled out the possibility of returning to the soap as he previously said: “They [EastEnders bosses] were talking for a while about me going back.

"They made it very clear that they were bringing the character back and they would really like me to go back, but it just wasn't right for me at the time.”

He continued: “The attraction in it would be to see some of my old mates and have a bit of nostalgia, and that wasn't enough at the time to do it”

However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of returning to the show in the future, saying: “I’ve decided to leave the show to experience other aspects of my industry. Having turned 21, I felt it was a good time to leave. I owe everything to the show and would love to come back one day – that's if EastEnders would have me."

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