EastEnders' Zack Hudson forgotten roles on three rival soaps

Long before he captured the nation's hearts as Zack Hudson, actor James Farrar appeared in a handful of other soaps
Long before he captured the nation's hearts as Zack Hudson, actor James Farrar appeared in a handful of other soaps -Credit:Getty

James Farrar, the Greenwich-born actor who's best known for his role as heartthrob chef Zack Hudson on EastEnders, first made his mark in Albert Square in 2021. Over the past three years, the 37 year old has kept us all glued to our screens with a series of gripping storylines, including his character's HIV diagnosis and the devastating loss of baby peach.

Initially introduced as Sharon Watt's brother, James has had us hooked with Zack's love life, involving characters like Nancy Carter, Sam Mitchell, Janine Butcher and most recently Whitney Dean. But did you know this isn't James' first time on the telly? In fact, he's starred in three other soaps before becoming a regular on the BBC.

Some eagle-eyed fans might even remember that back in November 2011, a whole decade before he became Zack, James actually made his first appearance in Albert Square, playing a minor character named Brendan. This brief stint inspired the former model to chase more TV roles, especially in British soaps, reports the Mirror.

Before he was Zack Hudson, James had roles in three other soaps, including Hollyoaks where he played Jen's chilled-out and protective brother, Liam Gilmore. His performance was so good that he didn't even need to audition when he was cast in 2012, according to the Daily Star.

During his eight-month stint on the soap, Liam stirred up trouble while working at Attwell's Health Club and Spa. After the business closed down, his character said goodbye to Chester and headed off for a new life in Southern England.

After leaving Chester, James found himself in the fictional Midlands town of Letherbridge, making a guest appearance in BBC's daytime medical drama Doctors. In 2016, he played Steven Cropper for a single episode of the long-running drama.

He then landed a role in the BBC period drama Call the Midwife in 2017! In the show, he played a character named Lester Watts during its sixth season, where his involvement in a controversial domestic violence storyline left fans shocked! Playing an abusive husband, viewers were horrified as his character assaulted his heavily pregnant wife Trudy (played by Perl Appleby) in a disturbing scene.

After shouting at her, Lester grabbed her by the neck and put out a cigarette on her chest. He then locked her in their bedroom and stormed out, throwing an insult at their young son Micky as he passed him. Although the scenes were no doubt harrowing to watch, they did however showcase James' versatility as an actor.

Besides his soap roles, his other TV credits include appearances in the film By Any Means in 2013 and Silent Witness in 2015. James also had a brief successful modelling career, but later revealed that he quit modelling when his mother fell ill, which led him to stay in Albert Square.

Since then, he's been balancing the demands of his acting career with being a dad. Chatting to TV Mag, he shared: "I work Saturdays on EastEnders, but it's nice to know now where I'm going to be day to day. Prior to this job I was a model and flying to Milan, then to New York, then to Paris."

He added, "I think it was a blessing that I took the job on EastEnders because Summer, my little baby, wouldn't have arrived if I was still doing the silly hours and travelling I was going with modelling."