Ted Reilly: 'I missed out on Casualty, but then got a call to come in for EastEnders'

Johnny is back in the bosom of the Carter family in EastEnders. But there are some unpleasant home truths to deal with, new actor Ted Reilly reveals to Soaplife…

What happened between Johnny and Gianluca?

“They went travelling and had a really fun time. But then their relationship fell apart and didn’t end well, so there’s a lot of sadness there for him. It’s really hit him hard, although he tries to hide it.”

What does he think when finds out what Dean did?

“Linda [Kellie Bright] kept what Dean did to her a secret and, when he finds out, it’s really upsetting. Johnny blames Mick [Danny Dyer]. In Johnny’s eyes, Mick’s this strong patriarchal figure who’s always kept the family together. But he hasn’t looked after them properly while Johnny’s been away.”

Is he going to miss Nancy?

“Of course, Johnny will miss not having Nancy [Maddy Hill] around, but his relationship with Lee is strong. Danny-Boy [Hatchard, who plays Lee] and I have found a really nice, brotherly relationship to explore and, of course, there’s baby Ollie, too, who Johnny’s really fond of.”

How did you get the part of Johnny?

“I was actually at Elstree auditioning for Casualty and it didn’t go that well. As I was making my way out, the lady who casts for EastEnders said ‘Hello’ to me, as we know each other. They were auditioning for Johnny at the time and I got a call asking me to come in. As soon as I went in, I knew I really wanted this job.”

What was the Casualty role you missed out on?

“I honestly can’t remember, but it was nowhere near as good as this.”

What’s your acting history?

“I didn’t go to drama school. I’ve been working steadily since I left school. I’ve done some plays at the Royal Court and I’ve had guest roles in TV shows such as Call the Midwife and Grantchester. This is my biggest job yet.”

Did you know any of the cast before you joined?

“No, but my granddad worked with June Brown in the 1950s. He used to run the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regents Park. I haven’t spoken to June about it yet, but my granddad, who’s 88 now, assures me she will remember. He’s really supportive and he’s come to every play I’ve been in.”

EastEnders, BBC1