EastEnders’ Theo Hawthorne star details challenging project away from BBC soap

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EastEnders star William Ellis, who plays evil stalker Theo Hawthorne on the BBC soap, has revealed how he is managing to juggle his role as the villain alongside his impressive sporting achievements in swimming.

The actor is a competitive pool swimmer who has swam for Great Britain at master level, and his most recent challenge was circumnavigating Jersey on a weekend off from filming.

With an English Channel swim booked for next year, he exclusively told Express.co.uk at the Inside Soap awards how he manages to fit in the required training alongside the intense schedule on the award-winning drama.

“I still don’t know how I’ve managed this year to juggle all those things,” he admitted. “I swam around Jersey – a 65km swim- only two weeks ago now.

“It was a question of making sure I joined the right gym that was close to set where I could go and get my swimming in after work.

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“And a very patient wife I have to say who has managed my time schedule just as much as I do,” he conceded.

William is so passionate about his sport that he also runs the very successful An Open Water Swimmers Podcast.

However, his endeavours aren’t just to keep fit as his upcoming Channel swim and his recent Jersey swim, raised funds for the charity Amaze, which helps families with children who have disabilities.

His son Odie was born with a condition called Mowat-Wilson Syndrome and his family has benefited hugely from their services.

He is currently at the heart of a huge storyline on the soap where after months of stalking Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) whilst pretending to be a family friend, she finally realised that it was him who had been terrorising her.

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Rather than back off, this only intensified his stalking and led to her cousin Freddie Slater (Bobby Brazier) beating him to a pulp when attempted to attack the mum of three.

Freddie is now facing prison and is currently on bail and staying with his mum while Theo remains free to cause further chaos.

Admitting that as an actor every job is a gift William said he “Very quickly realised just how good you have to be on a day-to-day basis because of the immediacy and the timeline of continuing drama.

“You have to be on your A-game and working with such wonderful actors as Lacey and Heather Peace – there’s no fooling around you know. You’re on it. If you’re not on it, you’re sinking.”

Eastenders is on BBC One Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm.

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