Soap stars become a huge part of people’s lives as they appear, timelessly, on our screens as we indulge in our series of choice from the comfort of our sofas.
And, as these stars play out fictional lives on screen, they become iconic parts of British television and some, such as Coronation Street’s Bill Roache, go the distance and appear on the soap for decades.
Recently, former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 36, who appeared in the Yorkshire village from 1996 until 2016, took to Instagram to share a very sweet throwback of himself picking up an award at a very young age.
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The star’s throwback photo shows Kelvin, aged 15, taking to the mic and thanking the audience for his Best Dramatic Performance award, and he wrote on Instagram: “To all the young aspiring actors out there; keep believing in yourself even when at times it seems nobody else does. Perseverance and Patience is key.”
And it got us thinking about iconic soap stars’ first ever appearance on said soaps and so, without further ado, let’s take a look…
Bill Roache, 87, who appears on the famed Manchester-based street as Ken Barlow, has been playing his role in Coronation Street for a whopping 60 years, first appearing on 9 December 1960.
The star appeared in the first ever episode of the soap, and is pictured eating dinner with his parents and is in conflict with his postman father Frank.
Former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher, who was crowned as the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 champion, last appeared on Emmerdale in 2016 after joining the soap in 1996, aged 12.
Kelvin made his debut as Andy Sugden on the soap on on 4 July 1996 and he looks so cute!
There’s no denying how iconic EastEnders actress June Brown, 93, is. The star made her soap debut back in 1985 – the year it was created – and became one of the longest running soap stars.
The Dot Cotton actress, who has since left the soap after 35 years, first appeared on our screens whilst rushing into a shop to request a glass of water, and the rest is history!
EastEnders stars: Past and present
Sally Dynevor quickly became one of Coronation Street’s best-loved characters, playing Sally Metcalfe on the soap.
The 57 year old actress made her debut back in 1986 as we saw her getting splashed by water as Michael Le Vell, playing Kevin Webster, drove through a puddle.
Ian Beale quickly became a central character in EastEnders, and Adam Woodyatt, who plays him, made his debut in the London-based soap on 19 February 1985.
The 52 year old is now EastEnders longest running character, after joining when he was a teen, and has appeared in more than 2,000 episodes.
Christopher Chittell is Emmerdale’s longest-serving actor and has played the part of Eric Pollard for a whopping 31 years.
Christopher, 72, joined the cast in June 1986 and his scenes first aired in late September of that same year.
Simon Gregson joined Coronation Street in 1989 and has been playing the part of Steve McDonald ever since.
The 45 year old TV star made his debut in episode 3001 on 6 June, and could be seen chatting to mum Liz McDonald, played by actress Beverley Callard.
Does it get more iconic than Phil Mitchell? The character, played by 61 year old Steve McFadden, first appeared on EastEnders in 1990 and his character was immediately involved in a range of storylines – a foreshadowing of what was to come for the star.
Viewers first caught a glimpse of the star on the phone in a car and the Phil Mitchell character was born.