Katie Jarvis job-shaming row: Actors reveal their side jobs in support of former EastEnders star

Katie Rosseinsky
BBC / Kieron McCarron

Actors have shared their support for former EastEnders star Katie Jarvis by revealing the side jobs they have done in between acting gigs.

The Daily Star reported on Saturday that Jarvis, 28, currently works in retail security at a branch of B&M Bargains and their article was soon criticised for "job-shaming."

On Tuesday, the actress, who is best known for her role as Hayley Slater in EastEnders and also appeared in Andrea Arnold’s film Fish Tank, told Victoria Derbyshire today that she was left “really embarrassed” by the headlines before realising that she has “nothing to be ashamed about” for supporting her two children.

In solidarity with Jarvis, stars on Twitter spoke out about the work they have carried out alongside acting commitments.

David Suchet, best known for his role as Poirot in the TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery novels, said that he “worked in Moss Bros, was a lift operator in a block of flats in the late ‘60s, unloaded lorries full of frozen dog food, was a waiter, barman.”

He added: “Keep on acting don’t give up. Its [sic] all part of your life experience which you will use even subconsciously!!!!”

West End star Caroline Sheen, who stood in for Louise Redknapp in 9 to 5: The Musical earlier this year, wrote: “Sold perfume at Selfridges, Harrods, John Lewis - all in between lead roles at the National. Then worked in Jo Malone between playing Mary Poppins on two continents.

“Otherwise I would not have had a penny to my name.”

Former Coronation Street star Charlie Condou, who appeared on the soap from 2007 to 2008 and from 2011 to 2014, said that while he “had a string of very nice TV and theatre jobs” when he left the soap, he later “got a job working in a restaurant to pay my bills and take care of my kids.”

Game of Thrones star Natalie Emmanuel shared her experiences of working in retail, writing: “Unfortunately people really love to see (what they perceive) as someones [sic] downfall….

“I was quite regularly teased by customers or experience them enjoying bossing me around…. But I got my payslip every month and I paid my bills whilst forming a thick skin and an iron will.”

Sharing a clip from Jarvis' interview with Derbyshire on Twitter, she added: "We've all had to get other jobs to survive... unless we come from a particular economic background with a family willing to fund our pursuit of a creative career. This job shaming is snobby & grotesque on so many levels. I stan an independent woman who works hard."

EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell, who played Steven Beale on the soap until 2017, wrote: “My ‘other’ jobs since I began my career 13 years ago: Scaffolder, FishMonger, Waiter, Barman, Chef, Promo Worker, Cruise Ship Guest Entertainer, Singer in working mens’ clubs.

“It’s called being an adult.”

Tamzin Outhwaite said she is “a landlady, a voice over artist, car boot salesperson, art dealer, up cyclist, interior designer, motivational speaker and many other jobs.”

She added: “It’s what artists do to earn a living. They work in between jobs.”

Read more

EastEnders boss Kate Oates opens up on same-sex storylines

EastEnders set for 'first lesbian Muslim character'

Eastenders star Lacey Turner reveals baby daughter's sweet name