7 VERY famous people you forgot were in EastEnders!

EastEnders logo

From chart-topping singers to politicians... it's not just actors who have appeared in EastEnders!

EastEnders legends like June Brown and Steve McFadden have become the faces of Walford over the years... but what about some of the other familiar faces that have graced Albert Square?

Every now and then soap fans are left surprised when someone famous makes an appearance in their favourite show, whether it's a guest role playing a new character, or a cameo.

While there have been plenty of famous people in Walford over the years, who are the most famous people to appear in the soap?

Here's a list of some familiar faces you may have forgotten were in EastEnders...

1. Amanda Holden 

Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden appeared in EastEnders in 1994 (pic: MCPIX/REX/Shutterstock)

She might be on our screens now as part of the Britain's Got Talent judging panel, but did you know Amanda started her career in TV on EastEnders?

The actress and presenter, who is a household name these days thanks to shows like Wild At Heart, played a character called Carmen, first appearing in an episode aired in February 1994.

Amanda's character was employed to cover Sanjay Kapoor's clothing stall on the market, and she was in EastEnders for just over a month.

More: Danny Dyer lands his own BBC1 game show!

2. Hugh Bonneville 

Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville went from Walford to Downton! (pic: Anthony Harvey/REX/Shutterstock)

Before playing the likes of Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey, Hugh appeared in EastEnders back in December 1995.

The famous actor played a headmaster for just one episode.

3. Robbie Williams 

Mandatory Credit: Photo by El Universal/REX/Shutterstock (9983699g) Robbie Williams Robbie Williams in concert at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico - 18 Nov 2018

World famous Robbie Williams appeared in EastEnders after quitting Take That (pic: El Universal/REX/Shutterstock)

After leaving Take That in 1995, EastEnders fan Robbie went on to try his hand at a spot of acting.

The singer appeared in the soap for just one episode and was credited as the "man using the Queen Vic telephone".

4. Borris Johnson

Boris in EastEnders

Boris suffered a flat tyre and popped into The Vic, where Peggy gave him an earful about local litter problems during his EastEnders guest appearance (Image credit: BBC)

2009 saw Borris visiting The Queen Vic where he spent his time flirting with landlady, Peggy Mitchell.

Despite the fact Peggy initially planned to give Borris a piece of her mind and tell him exactly what she thought of his role as the then mayor of London, she was soon charmed by him and confessed that she very nearly went into politics herself.

5. David Walliams

David Walliams

David Walliams pic: James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock

Back in 2003 another Britain's Got Talent judge appeared in EastEnders... this time it was David Walliams.

David played a fake registrar called Ray Collins, who performed at Kat Slater and Alfie Moon's wedding on Christmas Day.

It turned out that Ray was an old friend of Alfie's, who had been paid to conduct the ceremony at the last minute after the original registrar had refused to marry the pair thanks to Alfie's divorce not being finalised in time.

6. Emma Bunton 

Emma Bunton on Lorraine

Emma played a Walford mugger! pic: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Before finding fame with the Spice Girls, Emma appeared in EastEnders in 1992 as a schoolgirl who mugged regular character Jules Tavernier in broad daylight.

It's also a little known fact that Emma auditioned for the role of Bianca Butcher, but narrowly missed out to Patsy Palmer. But EastEnders wasn't Emma's only TV role... among other shows she's also appeared in The Bill and even Neighbours.

Who knew that someone who had such a small role in the soap would end up finding world-wide fame just a few years later with the biggest selling female group of all time.

7. Nick Grimshaw

Nick Grimshaw: EastEnders

Nick appeared as a cleaner in EastEnders back in 2013 (Credit: BBC) (Image credit: BBC)

Back in 2013 Nick Grimshaw took part in a soap-bombing challenge that was set on his BBC Breakfast Show.

The radio DJ played a caretaker, appearing during an OAP Christmas party in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment as he mopped the floors behind Patrick Trueman and Cora Cross.

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.