Jack Ryder reflects on EastEnders fame at 17 as he releases second children’s book

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Jack Ryder has said finding fame on EastEnders as a teenager was "tough to cope with" and that no one can "prepare you for it".

The actor, 39, soared to stardom as Jamie Mitchell on the BBC One soap in 1998 when was aged just 17 and he left Albert Square in 2002 aged 21 after his character was dramatically killed off.

Appearing on Wednesday's episode of Lorraine to discuss the release of his second children's book, Jack's Secret World, which hits shelves on Thursday, Jack reflected on finding fame at such an early age.

He said: "No one can prepare you for it, at that time, it was before Facebook, Instagram and the social media world. It was the last golden era of TV… my last episode, I think it got something like 25million viewers! Yeah, it was a big time.

"But I loved the work, the fame side was tough to cope with at that age, I had a great family and great friends, so I just sort of kept my head down and got on with everything."

Jack revealed that he still keeps in touch with some of his former co-stars, which include the likes of Robbie Jackson star Dean Gaffney, Sonia Fowler actress Natalie Cassidy and Phil Mitchell legend Steve McFadden.

He sweetly said: "We are all loosely in touch, we have a lot of fond memories together."

Since finding fame on EastEnders, the actor has turned his attentions to directing several West End productions and he said it has been "lovely" spending time behind-the-scenes.

Elsewhere during the interview, Jack spoke about the release of his second children's book, Jack's Secret World, which hits shelves on Thursday. His first book, Jack's Secret Summer, was released in May 2020.

The director sweetly revealed that the book is dedicated to his "lovely" girlfriend Ella and their young baby Marnie, who they welcomed last year.

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Jack said: "I did a lot of work on it and they were very supportive over that."

The actor also spoke about welcoming a "lockdown baby" as Marnie was born last year during the height of the pandemic.

Talking about how his life has changed, Jack said: "Yeah, it's changed a lot… she's [Marnie] doing great. It's a mixed bag parenting, as soon as you think you've nailed it… it changes. We are relishing being parents and Marnie is just beautiful!"

Lorraine continues on weekdays at 9am on ITV.

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