EASTENDER Ricky Norwood found filming his recent on-screen break-up extra emotional — because it reminded him of his split from Sugababe Jade Ewen.
His character Arthur “Fatboy” Chubb was gutted after vice girl Whitney Dean dumped him for Tyler Moon.
And for devastated Ricky — who was hoping to marry Jade before their relationship ended last year — the emotional scenes were too close to home. He admitted: “Those scenes really choked me up. I was channelling feelings from my real-life break-up — it was like exorcising something. It was good for the soul and I was really proud of the episode when I watched it back.”
Ricky, who began dating pop star Jade in 2009, revealed last year he would propose to his “princess” but they split two months later, in September.
Interview ... (from left to right) EastEnders stars David Witts, Jasmyn Banks, Ricky Norwood, Jacqueline Jossa, Taneke Empson, Rachel Bright and Chucky Venn
INSIDE SOAP MAGAZINE
But in an interview with Inside Soap magazine, out today, Ricky claims he is now happier than ever after finally putting the break-up behind him. Ricky also told of his delight after being nominated for Funniest Male at this year’s Inside Soap Awards. He said: “It’s an honour and a privilege.”
Heart-throb David Witts, who plays Joey Branning, is up for Sexiest Male Actor at the awards, which will be held in London on 24 September.
The actor, whose character is dating Lucy Beale, is clearly a hit with the girls. But he revealed it’s the cougars he has to keep an eye on.
Hot talent ... David Witts and Jacqueline Jossa
inside soap magazine
David said: “Some girls are mad — they just throw themselves at you. But it’s the older women you need to watch out for. I’m constantly having to make sure no one is squeezing my bum.”
Jacqueline Jossa, who plays boozy teenager Lauren Branning, has been nominated for Inside Soap’s Sexiest Female.
Story ... in latest issue of Inside Soap
But the modest star insisted she never gets chatted up in the street — because soap fans are too busy telling her to quit boozing.
Jacqueline laughed: “People come up to me in the supermarket and tell me I should stop drinking. They’re worried about Lauren, which is nice.
“It is quite overwhelming to be nominated for Sexiest Female but now I have to try to be sexy. I’m so not sexy that it’s ridiculous. It’s a nice compliment, though. I enjoy dressing up but I always get my boyfriend Tony, who plays Tyler Moon, to help me choose.”
Jacqueline, who has been dating Tony Discipline since last year, says they are loved-up. But she admits that she loves watching relationships in trouble on TV.
Jacqueline said: “I watch all of the soaps. I think they’re really good. I’m really enjoying all the cheating that’s going on in Emmerdale.
“People can give EastEnders a hard time, but everyone still loves it.
“The show has dealt with a lot of hard storylines and always does them so well.”
Soap beauty ... Jasmyn Banks
Inside Soap Magazine
'Headlock' ... Tameka Empson
Inside Soap Magazine
JASMYN revealed the EastEnders cast can’t wait to find out the identity of Kat Moon’s mystery lover.
She said the show’s stars have even been placing bets on who it will turn out to be.
Jasmyn, who plays Alice Branning, said: “I love the Kat storyline. We’re all guessing at who she’s having an affair with.
"I’ve got a feeling its Derek but I hope not.
“I’m also excited about Lola being a mum.
"It’s a shame Lola and Alice don’t have much to do with each other and won’t cross paths much.”
Jasmyn is enjoying working with Jamie Foreman, who plays on-screen dad Derek.
She said: “He is very supportive and gives us loads of tips.”
TAMEKA has a unique way of sorting out co-stars when they step out of line – she puts them in a headlock.
The actress, who plays ballsy Kim Fox, has found herself in a string of scrapes since she joined the BBC1 soap two years ago, including when she accidentally chopped off boyfriend Ray’s finger.
But Tameka insists that in real life she is easier on Chucky Venn, who plays Ray.
She said: “I just put him in a headlock! Chucky and I work well together and fans say they love seeing us as a couple.”
She has been nominated for Inside Soap’s Funniest Female Award for the second time running.
She said: “It would be lovely to win.”
Ray of light ... Chucky Venn
'Inside Soap Magazine
Dizzy ... Rachel Bright plays Poppy
Inside Soap Magazine
CHUCKY reckons he and on-screen girlfriend Kim, played by Tameka Empson, are the next Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
He said: “Tameka and I make a great team. We’re almost like Mr and Mrs Smith from the Brad and Angelina movie.
“Tameka’s game and doesn’t play about but she’s very giving. The whole team is to die for – I couldn’t ask for better.”
Chucky, who plays Ray Dixon, named his first scene with Patsy Palmer as the highlight of the year.
He said: “The first scene I had with Patsy – when Ray called out ‘Bianca’ for the first time – was really weird.
"I grew up watching EastEnders so uttering those words made me feel like I was in amongst it all.”
RETURNING star Rachel couldn’t wait to get back to Albert Square, admitting she’s been glued to the show since she left last year.
As dizzy Poppy Meadow, she brought a splash of humour to the soap when she joined the cast last January.
But Poppy packed her bags in November when she discovered that best mate Jodie kissed her boyfriend Anthony.
But she returned last month when scriptwriters decided she should be drafted in to help with preparations for Janine’s wedding to Michael Moon.
Rachel said: “I’ve been totally hooked in the aftermath of Heather’s murder.
“Even now I watch the show like a viewer because I don’t get to see every scrip