Nick Berry, another escapee from the Walford pub, represents the brand leader; his laddish policeman on Heartbeat is reported to have made him the highest paid actor on television.
The parade of ex-soap lads knows no end. Chris Ellison, Burnside on The Bill, has broken out of Sun Hill nick to star as a sparky sports promoter in Ellington. Kristian Schmid, Todd from Neighbours, features in the re-make of The Tomorrow People, which started yesterday. And Mark Little, Ramsey Street's Joe Mangel, is enjoying an afterlife as a presenter of The Big Breakfast and, more improbably, as a stand-up comedian.
Others have been less fortunate. Anita Dobson, who played Den's wife Angie on EastEnders, has for obvious reasons been unable to find lovable rogue parts and has stumbled through a string of forgettable dramas. Does anyone remember her hairdressing sitcom, Split Ends? I thought not.