Jack Ryder looks ahead to becoming a parent

‘It’s going to be an amazing journey’: Jack Ryder shares his excitement as he looks ahead to becoming a first time parent at 38 with girlfriend Ella

He’s best known for playing doomed Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders, but 18-years after being killed off Jack Ryder is preparing for what will arguably be the most challenging role of his life – parent.

The actor, 38, is expecting his first child with long-term partner Ella, a child psychotherapist, and he admitted they are both excited about the prospect of raising a baby while appearing on Thursday’s edition of Loose Women.

Talking to the panel from home, he said: ‘We are due in July. Ella and I are gushy and over the moon – I always just smile when I talk about it. 

Can’t wait: Jack Ryder is expecting his first child with long-term partner Ella, a child psychotherapist, and he admitted they are both excited about the prospect of raising a baby

‘We’re prepared as we can be, we’ve got toys all around the place, and clothes and bits and pieces. We’re ready to go. We’re very humbled and grateful, it’s going to be an amazing journey.’ 

Jack won a legion of fans after being cast as fresh-faced Jamie in 1998, a role he played for four-years before leaving Albert Square for good in 2002. 

But he admits he is still in touch with a handful of cast-members from his time on the show, among them his trumpet playing screen girlfriend, her on-screen brother and one of its longest serving stars.

Looking ahead: ‘We are due in July. Ella and I are gushy and over the moon – I always just smile when I talk about it,’ he told the Loose Women panel on Thursday afternoon


Expectant: ‘We’re prepared as we can be, we’re ready to go. We’re very humbled and grateful, it’ll be an amazing journey,’ he added

New venture: Jack was appearing on the show to discuss his first children’s book, Secret Summer

He said: ‘Me and Mr. (Dean) Gaffney, we touch base quite a lot and talk shop, and me and Natalie (Cassidy), and Steve McFadden. 

Reflecting on his last meeting with McFadden, best known for his long-term role as Jamie’s godfather Phil Mitchell, Jack admitted the timing couldn’t have been better. 

He added: ‘When I was doing Holby a little while ago we bumped into each other on his birthday. 

Old times: The actor is best known for playing doomed Jamie Mitchell in EastEnders (pictured with screen girlfriend Sonia Jackson, played by Natalie Cassidy)

Sad: The character was killed off in 2002 after four years on Albert Square 

‘It was a random morning of me going in quite early and this Moped came speeding round the corner and Steve lifted his visor up and said “it’s my birthday! I can’t believe I’ve seen you on my birthday!”

Now a successful theatre director with productions of Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and The History Boys under his belt, he has now added another string to his bow by writing a children’s book. 

Secret Summer, the first in a series of planned books from the actor, will focus on the experiences of a child whose parents have separated. 

And he admits he was inspired to write after discovering the works of Roald Dahl following previous failed attempts to read other celebrated Children’s novelists. 

Well done: Jack is now a successful theatre director with productions of Calendar Girls, The Full Monty and The History Boys under his belt

He recalled: ‘I remember picking up the box set of the CS Lewis books as a kid, and I read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Then I started to read the second one (Prince Caspian) and I really lost interest. 

‘I think I then tried The Hobbit and I lost interest in that, and then we took a little family holiday to Cranbrook and we stayed in this country house and Matilda was on the book shelf, and I remember picking that book up and reading it, and for the first time ever being completely comforted by that story. 

‘I think I read it twice on that trip and then I read more of Roald Dahl’s work and that’s what got me into reading more as a child.’ 

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