EastEnders star's career U-turn seven years after leaving the soap

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Jonny starred in EastEnders (Image: BBC)
Jonny starred in EastEnders (Image: BBC)

An EastEnders star has had a career U-turn seven years after leaving the popular BBC soap. Jonny Labey played Paul Coker in the series before leaving the show in 2016 and since taking on quite a different career.

The former actor appeared on the Square for more than a year before being killed off in a violent homophobic attack. Paul was known for being a controversial character, with topless scenes with Ben Mitchell leading to multiple complaints from viewers to broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

Paul and Phil Mitchell's son went on to become an item in the show as Ben confided in him and came to terms with his sexuality as the pair fell in love. However, things ended in tragedy as Paul was attacked by four men during a night out with his boyfriend which left him fatally wounded.

EastEnders star's career U-turn seven years after leaving the soap rriddqixxiqezinvJonny has swapped acting for a different career (Jonny Labey/Instagram)
EastEnders star's career U-turn seven years after leaving the soapJonny was killed off in EastEnders (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hea)

Labey, who is now 30, appeared on multiple other shows after EastEnders such as ITV's X Factor Celebrity and fellow BBC soap Doctors. He also starred in several TV commercials for companies including furniture giant Oak Furnitureland throughout the 2010s.

However, it seems a life of fame wasn't for him as he's waved goodbye to showbiz. Earlier this year he revealed that he is now working as a barber. Jonny posted a photo of his diploma on his social media, as he said: "No idea what prompted this journey initially but after considering it for a while, I'm so glad I did. It redefines 'side hustle' into a career I can proudly build and that I love."

EastEnders' Jake Wood's snap of son has fans pointing out the pair's likenessEastEnders' Jake Wood's snap of son has fans pointing out the pair's likeness

Jonny often opens up about his life to his followers. He previously revealed that he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a teenager. He revealed that he was diagnosed with the chronic illness during his GCSEs. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas does not make enough insulin to keep the body functioning.

The former soap actor said: "I was unexplainably tired and felt that no matter how much or quickly I drank, I'd still be thirsty." Jonny explained that he would check his blood sugar levels on his grandad's monitor which is when he discovered it was dangerously low when he received a reading of 26.6, leading him to go to hospital.

Charlotte Everett

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