James Alexandrou wound up James Bye after he took over the role of Martin Fowler in EastEnders

James Alexandrou as Martin Fowler in EastEnders
Wind up merchant! James Alexandrou couldn’t help trolling James Bye (Picture: BBC)

We all love a good prank, and it seems that James Alexandrou took it okay when James Bye took over his role of Martin Fowler in EastEnders.

However, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to wind up the newcomer, who had been sworn to secrecy over his new part.

Alexandrou had evidently been informed, most likely as a courtesy, that there was a new Martin but, as far as Bye was concerned, it was a huge secret that could blow his future on the soap if he leaked it.

A cruel prick therefore left him worried!

Speaking on the podcast Secure The Insecure, Alexandrou explained: ‘I found out old Jimmy Bye got the job. And so he was under contract not to tell anyone that he’d been cast as, as Martin Fowler.

‘I got his number off Natalie Cassidy. He didn’t know that I had his number, and I just text him out the blue. I started winding him up for a week, saying I know you’re going to the Square!

‘He didn’t know who it was. I think he got a bit worried that he was going to get in trouble. And I said, “listen, it’s James Alexandrou. I’m really happy for you.

Martin hugs lily in EastEnders
Poor James Bye was victim to a prank (Picture: BBC)
Sonia and Martin (James Alexandrou) holding onto each other in EastEnders
James Alexandrou’s Martin had huge storylines with Sonia Fowler (Picture: BBC)

‘”You go do whatever you want with him, have fun,” and I think he’s done a great job.

‘I actually met him for the first time about two months ago, and it was a really nice moment!’

This happened as he did some shadow directing on his old stomping ground, and he is also still in the acting game, starring in a play Casserole, which he has co-written.

But one thing he has so far avoided is reality TV, even though there has been no shortage of offers.

‘I actively didn’t do the Celebrity Big Brothers, or the jungle,’ he said. ‘I got asked to do all of those things. I got asked to write a book at one point about what it was like.

‘And I just said no to any of that because my thing was about being taken seriously. It was about, don’t be famous.

‘It was just get away from being famous. And also, I would have been really bad on those shows.

I just would have been a miserable little git because it just wasn’t my thing. So my motivation was don’t be famous, learn acting.

He added: ‘What Enders did for me was gave the opportunity to be gainfully employed as an actor.

‘It was not pick and choose by any means, but there were jobs coming in for theatre.’

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