Katie Jarvis: Stars including Kathy Burke defend former EastEnders actor shamed by newspapers for working in shop

Adam White
Katie Jarvis as Hayley Slater in BBC One's EastEnders: BBC/Kieron McCarron

Actors including Kathy Burke and Charlie Condou have leapt to the defence of former EastEnders actor Katie Jarvis, who has been shamed by newspapers for working in a shop.

Jarvis, best known for her role in Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, played Hayley Slater on EastEnders for a year before departing the soap in February 2019.

She has since found employment as a security guard in a B&M discount store in London. A number of tabloid newspapers have reported on Jarvis’ job this weekend.

“Person gets job so her kids don’t starve?” tweeted Kathy Burke. “Good for her.”

The comedian Rufus Houndtweeted: “No job that supports you is beneath you.”

“When I left Corrie I had a string of very nice TV and theatre jobs,” former Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou tweeted. “Then I didn’t. So I got a job working in a restaurant to pay my bills and take care of my kids.”

“That’s what responsible adults do,” he added. “This is shameful journalism.”

EastEnders actor Gillian Taylforth tweeted: “So much love and respect for Katie Jarvis. Hard work [being] a jobbing actor. Actors are allowed ‘normal’ jobs too, you know.”

Several Twitter users have compared the treatment of Jarvis to that of the former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens.

Owens was photographed working in a Trader Joe’s supermarket in 2018 and shamed by a number of tabloid newspapers, leading to viral tweets from actors explaining the realities of the acting profession and how difficult it is to make a living exclusively from performing.

“I am sick and tired of seeing this happen,” actor Danny Hatchard tweeted. “Tabloids have clearly not learnt a single thing from the Geoffrey Owens story.

“As actors our job is hard enough as it is, not knowing when or where our next gig will be. So the VERY last thing that we need is this s***.”

Speaking to the Daily Star Sunday, Jarvis said: “I’ve taken a step back from acting. I’ve got a job and I’m looking after my kids.”

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