In 2004 the EastEnders producers were in search of some new energy to help to give the long-running show its edge back – believe it or not, there are only so many times that the same characters can be killed off and come back to life (yes, we’re talking about you Phil Mitchell!).
There answer? Bring in arguably one of the most loveable, yet equally troubled families that Walford has ever seen… The Millers.
The new residents of 27 Albert Square were an instant hit; Mickey, Rosie, Keith, Darren and Demi! Although there time on the cockney soap was relatively short lived in comparison to families like the Mitchells and the Slaters, the Millers most certainly left their mark.
We take a look at their exciting lives since leaving the show.
READ MORE: The former EastEnders actress who regrets ever appearing on the show
Mickey (Joe Swash)
Joe Swash is without doubt the most famous of the Miller family and has remained in the limelight post his EastEnders’ career.
Joe stepped onto the set of EastEnders in April 2003 as the loveable and often mischievous cockney lad, Mickey Miller – a whole year before the rest of the family joined him on Albert Square.
Prior to taking on his most popular role, he was on the verge of quitting acting altogether but this role changed all of that for him.
It also happened to be a lifechanging opportunity for other members of his family as he was able to secure a spot on the show for his real life sister, Shana. Coincidentally Shana Swash played Joe’s on-screen sister too, as the loveable Demi Miller.
For most of his run on the show, Joe was in a relationship with Emma Sophocleous. The couple were together from 2005 to 2008 and had one child together.
Unfortunately relationship woes were not the only troubles that Joe faced after EastEnders. He also ran into money troubles, being made bankrupt, not once but twice.
The actor admitted: “I got into EastEnders and was irresponsible with money. I was chucking it away on stuff I didn’t need.”
Joe’s life has since seen a dramatic turnaround worthy of a storyline in EastEnders. The actor went on to star in – and win – I’m A Celeb in 2008, going on to host the spin-off show. It was on the show where he would meet his future fiancee Stacey Solomon.
The couple went on to have a baby, one-year-old Rex, together and recently moved to a £1.2 mansion in Essex that looks worlds away from Mickey’s old home on 27 Albert Square.
This year fans will get to see Joe’s skills in the kitchen as he looks set to appear on the new season of Celebrity Masterchef. Everybody loves a good comeback story!
Rosie (Gerry Cowper)
Gerry Cowper has already achieved success before her time on EastEnders and had starred in the classic film The Wicker Man – and played Jim Hacker’s daughter in Yes Minister. She also had a role on Only Fools and Horses as Lisa between 1986 and 1987.
The 62-year-old walked onto the set of EastEnders in 2004, and played the role of fierce mother to three lively children, Mickey, Darren and Demi.
Her stay on the soap was relatively short-lived in comparison to her family members, only lasting two years. Her career has since seen her pop up on other popular British shows like Casualty and more recently ITV hit drama Law & Order: UK in 2014.
A few years ago she made the headlines after a row with her daughter ended up going to court. Police arrested the teen for hurling beer at her mum and spitting in her hair at their home in Twickenham, London.
Is your weekly dose of drama from Albert Square simply not enough? Do you find yourself scrolling through the social media pages of cast members, trying to guess what might happen next? Are you as well acquainted with the ‘Enders as your are your own family?
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Keith (David Spinx)
The head of the Miller family, Keith, spent the majority of his time on the Square bound to his sofa claiming benefits to keep himself afloat.
Well, that was until Stacey Slater (played by Lacey Turner) snitched on him, but that’s a story for another day.
David Spinx, 70, won many admirers for his relatable portrayal of the family man and was written off of the show after ironically going to work a job out of town.
Since leaving the show his acting career has not slowed down in the slightest and he has appeared in Doctors, Casualty, a warm-hearted promotional campaign for London buses, and recently popped up in a string of movies including indie flick South of the River.
And followers of his Twitter account will also know that he has taken to painting too!
Darren (Charlie G Hawkins)
Darren Miller, played by Charlie G Hawkins had the longest stay on the square out of all of the Millers, lasting a total of seven years on EastEnders.
However, he admitted that his time on the show was not always pleasant. Last year he spoke about how he often struggled to cope with the fame it brought and obsessed over negative comments about him on fan forums.
He told podcast Distinct Nostalgia: “I would stare at that one comment and it absolutely broke me. It really affected me.”
The actor, who also wrote an episode of EastEnders spin-off E20, turned to podcasts, radio and voiceovers in recent years.
Demi (Shana Swash)
Joe Swash’s little sister Shana, was also a member of the Miller family.
She played the character of pregnant 13-year-old Demi, beating Lacey Turner to the role (though she did later get cast as Stacey Slater so all’s well that ends well).
However, the actress, who is now 30, left the soap two years later alongside their screen mum Rosie and also on other projects which included British indie movie My Feral Heart.
Now a mother and married to carpenter Neil Jones, the pair run a restaurant business out of North London gastropub the Thornhill Arms.
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