Joe Absolom on EastEnders live: 'It's what we want – chaos and people getting their lines wrong!'

Death in Paradise guest star Joe Absolom has been talking about his time on EastEnders and about the upcoming live episode to celebrate the soap's 30th anniversary.

He explained to What’s on TV why we’re all really tuning into the live EastEnders’ episode next week, and what his young children make of dad’s acting life…

Joe said: "The live EastEnders episode does sound potentially a bit chaotic. It’s a difficult one to write [for] because they have to work out who’s got the stones for it. But that’s what we all want… massive chaos and people getting their lines wrong!”

He added: “You have to embrace it if things go wrong, but I wouldn’t want to do it! Remember in the last live EastEnders episode, Scott Maslen got his lines wrong and they showed it on Harry Hill – a lot? It was very funny! All the other actors knew he’d gone, but they couldn’t help him.”

During his time in EastEnders (1997 - 2000) Joe was involved in one of EastEnders' most sensational and popular storylines when his character, Matthew Rose, was framed and jailed for the murder of Saskia Duncan. The plot continued to make headlines when Matthew then went on went on to seek revenge on Saskia’s real killer, Steve Owen, played by Martin Kemp.

Speaking about his EastEnders legacy, Joe (pictured with his British Soap Award for best actor in 2000) said: “I don’t mind being remembered for EastEnders, even though it was 15 years ago and I’ve now matured into a half-balding old man! It can be quite embarrassing when people tell their kids I used to be on EastEnders, and they look at me with completely blank faces because they were only about two-years-old when I was on it!”

Now a dad of three, Joe was only 18 when he joined EastEnders, and soon became one of the show’s heartthrobs. These days Joe, 36, is a familiar face on ITV’s Doc Martin, which makes things a little confusing for his kids…

“They get a bit bamboozled. My eight-year-old daughter knows I was in EastEnders, but it confuses her. And my four-year old thinks I used to live on Albert Square, so when he sees Cornwall-based Doc Martin he gets really confused!

“As for me, I used to be the kid on set, but now I’m older. On Death in Paradise, I was there with my own kids!”

Read more about Joe’s time on Death in Paradise here.


Elaine Reilly
Writer for TV Times, What’s On TV, TV & Satellite Week and What To Watch

With twenty years of experience as an entertainment journalist, Elaine writes for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and covering a variety of programs from gardening and wildlife to documentaries and drama.


As well as active involvement in the WTW family’s social media accounts, she has been known to get chatty on the red carpet and wander into the odd podcast. 

After a day of previewing TV, writing about TV and interviewing TV stars, Elaine likes nothing than to relax… by watching TV.