EastEnders star James Bye on Martin's Christmas from HELL: 'It's the best stuff I've EVER filmed'

EastEnders Martin Fowler
(Image credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders favourite Martin Fowler is set to have a Christmas that he'll never forget...

EastEnders fans have watched Martin Fowler go from a loveable fruit and veg man to Walford's newest bad boy over the last few months, and things are only set to get worse as Christmas and New Year arrive when he finds himself caught up in a terrifying hit and run accident.

Actor James Bye, who has played Martin since 2014, has revealed that these latest scenes are some of the best he has filmed in the last 5 years - and were can see why.

Martin Fowler lashes out at Kush Kazemi in EastEnders

Martin has become a changed man recently, even lashing out at best friend Kush (Picture: BBC)

The story unfolds as Martin and his new partner in crime, Tubbs, head home from another dodgy job, only to be left shaken to the core when they knock someone down with their car before speeding off.

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EastEnders fans will remember that this storyline will see history repeating itself for Martin after he ran over and killed Jamie Mitchell on the very same date 17 years ago.

James admitted at a recent EastEnders press day that he has loved every minute of filming the Christmas scenes... "It’s probably the best stuff I’ve done since I’ve been on the show to be honest. It’s a gift.

Martin Fowler takes money from Tubbs in EastEnders

Martin and Tubbs get themselves into some serious trouble this Christmas (Picture: BBC)

"I had a meeting with Jon and Kate and they floated the idea, but I was unsure of how we were going to get from the fruit and veg man to this point.

"I think that it’s been so nice for the audience to see it happen in front of them, rather than me just coming back from Martin and Stacey doing a runner and suddenly being this bad boy."

James also confessed that he has enjoyed filming with Max Bowden, who plays Ben Mitchell... "Me and Max have had a ball. If we’re not shouting at each other, we’re laughing at each other, we get on well."

But of course Martin is set to regret going down this dark path, and his actions are going to have an impact on his family... "He’s been put in a position that he had no control of — or he certainly thought he had no control of.

Martin Fowler confides in Sonia in Eastenders

Martin will confide in Sonia, but can she help him? (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes)

"His primary focus is on Bex because the rest of his family are gone, so he will do anything to protect her. So, let’s see how that plays out, and I don’t think anyone’s going to be happy with the choices he’s made over Christmas."

But there could be a light at the end of the tunnel in the shape of Martin's ex, Sonia Fowler... "Because Martin and Sonia have got such history a reunion is always on the cards," James revealed.

"We’ll see. Who knows? I think he’s in a bad place so he needs someone to lean on..."

EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.