James Alexandrou

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James Alexandrou
Born James Alekos Alexandrou
(1985-04-12) 12 April 1985 (age 33)
Islington, London, England
Occupation Actor

James Alekos Alexandrou (born 12 April 1985) is an English actor, best known for playing the character Martin Fowler in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders. He was also the presenter of Bizarre Crime on BBC Three.

Early life[edit]

Alexandrou was born in Hackney, London, to a Greek Cypriot father[1] and an English mother. He has two sisters, one older, one a twin, as well as a younger brother.[2]

He was educated at Chingford Foundation School in Waltham Forest, as well as at Anna Scher Theatre School.[2] Other notable former pupils of Chingford Foundation School include footballer David Beckham, and Sir Jonathan Ive, who is the chief design officer (CDO) of Apple Inc.


Alexandrou's acting career began in 1996, when he auditioned successfully for the role of Martin Fowler in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders. The character was created shortly after the show's inception in 1985, with the role becoming vacant following the departure of actor Jon Peyton Price in 1996. Alexandrou appeared as Grant in the short film Blessed Burden in 1999.

In July 2003 he participated in a "Soap Stars Special" edition of The Weakest Link. Over Christmas of 2005, Alexandrou starred in the crime caper, Who Stole The Snowman? On 14 April 2006 it was announced that Alexandrou would leave EastEnders in Autumn 2007. He and Natalie Cassidy, who played his on-screen wife Sonia Fowler, left on 2 February 2007 (to tie in with the exits of Wendy Richard and Ray Brooks).[3] When asked about his departure Alexandrou said, "I've decided to leave the show to experience other aspects of my industry. Having turned 21, I felt it was a good time to leave. I owe everything to the show and would love to come back one day - that's if EastEnders would have me."[4] On 12 October 2014 it was announced that actor James Bye would be taking over playing the role in the character's return to Albert Square.[5]

In early 2007 Alexandrou appeared in the play The Homecoming opposite Harold Pinter for BBC Radio 3.[6]

Alexandrou toured the UK and Norway with the British Shakespeare Company from June–September 2007. He played Pistol in Henry V,[7] and Orlando in As You Like It.[8] It was incorrectly reported that he turned down the chance to replace Daniel Radcliffe in the West End revival of Equus in 2007.[9]

In 2008 he appeared in In My Name, a new play by Steven Hevey, at the Old Red Lion Theatre produced by Yaller Skunk Theatre Company. The play transferred to the Trafalgar Studio 2 from 1–19 July 2008.[10] In October 2008 Alexandrou appeared in All Quiet on the Western Front at the Nottingham Playhouse prior to a UK tour of the production and therefore was unable to attend the wedding of former EastEnders actor Wendy Richard and John Burns.[2][11]

In March 2009 he played the part of Romeo in the Globe Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet.[12] In October 2009, Alexandrou joined up with EastEnders cast members, Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Jackson) and Nina Wadia (Zainab Masood), to star in comedy shorts for BBC Raw Words.[13]

In 2010 Alexandrou filmed his first feature film, Semper Fidel in Cuba. The film was released in 2014.[14] He appeared in the role of The Man in John Goodrum's play The Black Veil a thriller adapted from a Charles Dickens short story.[13]

In 2011 Alexandrou took part in the BBC Learning project, Off By Heart Shakespeare, where he played Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet delivering the speech; "'tis not so deep as a well".[15]

In 2012 Alexandrou toured theatres throughout the United Kingdom, with the Hull Truck Theatre starring as Phil, in the play DNA.[16]

In April 2014, as part of the Shakespeare 450 celebrations, he played the classic villain Iago in Grassroots Shakespeare London's production of Othello at Leicester Square Theatre in London's West End[17] and also performed sonnets at the Guildhall with Damian Lewis.[18] Rehearsals were recorded by BBC World Service and James Alexandrou's performance as Iago featured in their programme The Why Factor.[19]

In February 2015, Alexandrou appeared in Silent Witness as Carl Parry.[20]


Year Show Role Notes
1996–2007 EastEnders Martin Fowler Series regular
2010 Cannabis: What's the Harm Presenter A two-part documentary exploring the use and effects of Britain's most popular illegal drug.
Missing Andy Garsdale 1 episode: 2.5
2011 Semper Fidel Film
2015 Casualty Franny One episode Film
2017 The Prey Unnamed Boyfriend One episode - Horror Movie Short as part of the CryptTV 'Crypt Fables' Youtube series.

Personal life[edit]

Alexandrou was in a relationship with Kara Tointon which began in April 2006. They split on 4 November 2007.[21]


  1. ^ "EastEnders Cast Live Chat". BBC. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Interview: James Alexandrou". Nottingham Post. Local World. Retrieved 11 September 2016. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "EastEnders' Martin to Leave Soap". BBC. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "So This Is What The *Old* Martin Fowler Is Up To Now". Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "EastEnders' Martin Fowler Returning to Albert Square". BBC. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Pinter to Appear in His Own Play". BBC. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Shakespeare in Performance: Character Pistol". Internet Shakespeare Editions. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Shakespeare in Performance: Character Orlando de Boys". Internet Shakespeare Editions. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "From Bored to Bard". Yorkshire Evening Post. Johnston Publishing Ltd. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  10. ^ ""EastEnders" Star Alexandrou to Appear in In My Name at London's Trafalgar Studios". Playbill Inc. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Gang's All Here: Laughter and Tears as EastEnders and Co Salute Wendy Richard". MailOnline. Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  12. ^ "Playing Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet [2009]". The Shakespeare Globe Trust. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "EastEnders Star Takes on Dark Thriller from Dickens". Bristol Post. Local World. Retrieved 11 September 2016. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "James Alexandrou to Star as Iago in Othello". www.LondonTheatre1.com. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  15. ^ "Schools - Teachers - Off By Heart Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet "No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a"". BBC. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Savage, Wayne (29 February 2012). "DNA, by Dennis Kelly, Hull Truck, the New Wolsey, Ipswich, February 28". Ipswich Star. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "EastEnders' James Alexandrou to play Iago in Othello". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  18. ^ "Damian Lewis praises Shakespeare as he marks the poet's 450th birthday". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  19. ^ "Envy, The Why Factor - BBC World Service". BBC. Retrieved 2016-01-23. 
  20. ^ "One of Our Own". BBC. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "'EastEnders' lovebirds decide to split". Digital Spy. 4 November 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2007. 

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