From a sensational singing voice to famous friends, there is a lot more to actor Toby-Alexander Smith than playing Walford's Gray Atkins...
Toby-Alexander Smith arrived in Walford back in March 2019 as hard-working city solicitor, Gray Atkins, who looked to the outside world to be a wealthy and doting husband and father.
However, it wasn't long before the true horror of what was happening behind closed doors was revealed, and since then Toby has become a household name thanks to his role as evil abuser, Gray.
Most fans of the actor might know that:
- He's a great rugby player
- He trained at Arts Educational School in London
- Toby is hiding a secret talent for dancing
Toby-Alexander Smith: little known facts about the actor...
1. Toby-Alexander Smith is nothing like his on-screen character
It will be a huge relief to hear that Toby is nothing like his on screen alter ago, Gray. In fact, Toby gets on brilliantly with his on-screen wife Jessica Plummer, who plays Chantelle Atkins.
The actress once told Inside Soap that they are great friends... "Toby is such a sweetheart, it was lovely working with him.
"He is so kind and easy to be with, and the majority of scenes that I shot at EastEnders were with him. I prayed that I would get along with him on-screen husband and I really do!"
2. He has become an ambassador for Women's Aid
Taking on a role like Gray Atkins comes with a huge amount of responsibility. Toby and the rest of the EastEnders team have worked closely with charities to make sure Chantelle's domestic abuse storyline has been told correctly.
Toby told us: "I just hope that anyone experiencing any sort of behaviour like that will talk about it and relate to it. I’ve already been told by Woman’s Aid that people have contacted them and said they think their friend is in a similar situation to Gray and Chantelle in EastEnders."
Speaking of becoming an ambassador for Women's Aid, Toby added: "I am proud to become an ambassador and will stand up and support survivors of abuse wherever and whenever I can."
3. He loves that people hate him
Playing a role like Gray Atkins is always going to come with some negativity, but Toby has revealed he welcomes the fact fans love to hate him.
"The comments on social media were initially a shock but you have to absolutely detach yourself from that. I’ve certainly got my head around that now and actually I encourage it. I hope now that people will be really loud on social media.
"I hope Gray gets mentioned in every tweet imaginable about domestic abuse and how wrong it is. It’s important that this is helping survivors of domestic abuse, at the end of the day I can just turn my phone off."
4. He's fitness fanatic
When he's not busy filming at the EastEnders studios, Toby has revealed he likes to spend his spare time unwinding at the gym. The actor has been known to share pictures on social media of his workouts, telling fans: "Regular exercise isn't just about improving physical health and physique. It's the sense of well-being it gives you."
Toby was also planning to run the 2020 London Marathon to raise money for Women's Aid. Sadly the event has been postponed until next year, but Toby is still hoping to run and raise as much money as he can for a great cause.
5. He's got an amazing singing voice
Acting isn't Toby's only talent, because he is also a great singer.
During an episode of EastEnders spin off Secrets from the Square with Stacey Dooley, Toby revealed he was about to go on stage to sing some Michael Buble hits when he got the call about landing the role in EastEnders.
"I was in a toilet in a pub getting changed, about to do two hours of singing Michael Buble's Christmas hits," he revealed. "My phone rings and I get told that I was going to be cast in the role of Gray Atkins.
"I put the phone down and went out to an audience of about 16 drunk people, and I had this smile on my face knowing that I had the part. It was a very surreal evening!"
6. He's got famous friends
As well as singing along side Casualty and Holby City star Lee Mead, Toby is also good friends with his on screen brother-in-law, Danny Walters, who played EastEnders favourite Keanu Taylor. The pair have even been known to go to LoveFit Festival together, a festival about fitness, adventure and wellbeing.
7. EastEnders isn't his first acting job
Before joining the cast of EastEnders Toby appeared in BBC One medical soap Doctors, as well as science fiction series Krypton in 2018, TV series Berlin Station in 2016, and 2019 series, Flack.
Toby-Alexander Smith's Fact File
Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actor...
How old is he?
Toby-Alexander Smith's age is 30.
Is he in a relationship?
Toby-Alexander Smith keeps his personal life out of the spotlight.
Does he have kids?
Toby-Alexander Smith doesn't have any children.
Where was he born?
Toby-Alexander Smith was born in Litchfield in Staffordshire.
How tall is he?
Toby-Alexander Smith is 5 foot 11 inches tall.
We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.
Main pic: Getty
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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.