'EastEnders' star Jack Ryder found early fame 'tough to cope with'

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Jack Ryder has opened up on the stresses of fame as a youngster. (Photo by Michael Crabtree - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jack Ryder has opened up on the stresses of fame as a youngster. (Photo by Michael Crabtree - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Jack Ryder has said the fame he found as a teenager on EastEnders was "tough to cope with".

He played heartthrob Jamie Mitchell on the BBC for four years, joining the cast when he was just 16-years-old.

Ryder, 39, opened up on his experiences as he appeared on Wednesday's instalment of Lorraine on ITV where he was speaking about his new children's book. 

Read more: Adam Woodyatt updates soap fans on EastEnders return

"I mean no one can prepare you for it," he said of the fame that followed after he debuted on the programme in 1998. 

Jack Ryder joined EastEnders at the age of 16. (Photo by Ben Curtis - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Jack Ryder joined EastEnders at the age of 16. (Photo by Ben Curtis - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

He left the programme in 2002 and his character was killed off in heartbreaking scenes after being accidentally run over by Martin Fowler. 

"At that time it was before Facebook and Instagram and social media," he went on. "So it was the last kind of golden era of TV, and my last episode got something like 25 million viewers. Yeah, it was a big time."

Watch: Stephen Fry says EastEnders isn't as funny as Coronation Street

"I loved the work. The fame side was tough to cope with at that time and at that age, but I had a great family and great friends and I just sort of kept my head down, and got on with the work," Ryder added. 

Read more: Shaun Williamson 'making up for lost time' over secret child with circus juggler

He's had roles in other soaps since his EastEnders exit, including daytime medical drama Doctors and Holby City where he played surgeon Evan Crowhurst.

He married Hear'Say singer and Coronation Street star Kym Marsh in 2002 before splitting six years later in 2008. 

Director Jack Ryder and his wife Ella attending the press night of Take That's musical The Band at Manchester Opera House. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Director Jack Ryder and his wife Ella attending the press night of Take That's musical The Band at Manchester Opera House. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Ryder became a father for the first time last year when his girlfriend Ella gave birth to a daughter they named Marnie. 

Speaking about his daughter to Lorraine Kelly, he said: "She's doing great, parenting is a mixed bag - as soon as you think you've nailed it something happens.

"But we're absolutely relishing being parents."

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