Where are our favourite soap star heartthrobs now? From Paul Nicholls to Rob James-Collier

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There are a range of stars on soaps that catch the eye of the public as a result of their good looks and charm.

And back in the '90s, soap stars galore were proving to be big hits, from Jack Ryder to Paul Nicholls.

With their cheeky smiles and good looks, people all around couldn’t wait to tune into their favourite soap – but where are the heartthrobs now?

We’ve taken a look to see what happened to some of our favourite heartthrobs from back in the day. Take a peek…

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Paul Nicholls

Former EastEnders star Paul Nicholls was recently spotted out and about in north London, in what is a rare sighting of the star.

The 41 year old actor was loved by many while playing Joe Wicks in EastEnders in the ‘90s.

Captured out and about, Paul cut a casual figure as he stepped out to run errands in Primrose Hill.

The sighting comes three years after Paul was involved in a horrific accident in Thailand.

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Paul was rescued in July 2017 after he was trapped at the bottom of a waterfall for three days.

The former EastEnders star had gone to Thailand for a holiday after working on Channel 4 series Ackley Bridge. During the trip, he travelled to a waterfall in Koh Samui, Thailand on his motorcycle.

He was rescued after local villagers alerted police to his abandoned motorbike.

Since appearing in EastEnders Paul, who was a child star after appearing in Children's Ward, Earthfasts and The Biz, has had various roles in TV and film.

The actor has starred in the likes of City Central, Harley Street, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Law & Order: UK and Holby City.

The actor married actress Chantal Brown in 2008, but the pair later got divorced in 2015.

Chris Fountain

Chris Fountain was fired from Coronation Street back in 2013, after videos of him performing an offensive rap began doing the rounds online.

In disguise as the character 'The Phantom', the rap contained lyrics about rape and violence, as well as using the N-word.

In a statement released at the time, he said: "I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence I have caused.

"I am deeply ashamed by the lyrics and very much regret my behaviour.

"The videos were made over a year ago when I was experimenting with music and I've not done anything like it since and nor will I.

"The lyrics that appeared online were influenced by a style of hiphop that I was experimenting with at a private freestyle session and blurted out in a moment of madness."

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Chris was well known for his role as heart throb Justin Burton in Hollyoaks and he then went on to play the part of Tommy Duckworth in Coronation Street.

Chris came runner up on Dancing on Ice and has been in a number of other popular shows including Casualty.

This year, it was reported that the 33 year old Bradford born star was stuck in Bali amid the pandemic.

Chris keeps his relationship status away from the spotlight.

Jack Ryder

You may or may not have watched EastEnders from 1998 until 2002, but if you did you’ll likely remember the character Jamie Mitchell.

The part of Jamie was played by Jack Ryder, but Jamie made a dramatic exit all those years ago and disappeared from our lives.

That was, however, until earlier this year when the talented actor appeared on Loose Woomen, causing viewers to coin him “hot.”

The part of Jamie first popped up in Albert Square in 1998, and he was best known for his on/off relationship with Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy.

Yet it seems Jack switched from being in front of the cameras to behind them, and picked up a career in directing.

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As well, he has been writing children’s books, including Jack’s Secret Summer, and also popped up in Holby City in 2019.

It seems the star also has a solid love life, and in May the actor announced he was expecting a child with his girlfriend Ella.

Discussing the news during his Loose Women appearance, Jack said: “We are due in July. Ella and I are gushy and over the moon. I always just smile when I talk about it.

“We’re prepared as we can be, but we’ve got toys all around the place and clothes and bits and pieces. Yeah, we’re ready to go.

“We’re very humbled and grateful. It’s going to be an amazing journey.”

Rob James-Collier

Rob James-Collier captured the heart’s of the public playing the part of Liam Connor in Coronation Street in 2006.

The star was involved with Leanne Battersby, Maria Sutherland and his sister-in-law Carla while on the soap, but he was killed off in 2008 by a hitman.

Since, the heart throb has starred in Downton Abbey as Thomas Barrow from 2010 until 2015.

The 44 year old has a partner, Lauren Chandiram, and a ten year old son named Milo.

Nigel Harman

Ex EastEnders star Nigel Harman, who played Dennis Rickman from 2003 to 2005, is barely recognisable from his days on the BBC soap.

The former soap star was a hit with viewers back in the day as Walford’s badboy and Sharon Watt's gorgeous lover, but he revealed an epic transformation some years on, sporting curly long hair streaked with grey.

Nigel, now aged 47, has put his soap hunk days behind him and moved on to pastures new in theatre land, enjoying success starring in and directing a string of top West End shows.

After treading the pavement in Walford, he went on to be a star of the stage in popular productions Mamma Mia!, Guys and Dolls and Three Days of Rain.

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He also played Simon Cowell in an X Factor-inspired West End musical.

He’s dipped in and out of TV as well, starring as hotel manager Sam Franklin in BBC drama Hotel Babylon and in 2013, he appeared as Green in ITV's Downton Abbey.

Nigel left EastEnders in a heartbreaking storyline where his character Dennis was stabbed to death in the street.

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