25 popular actors who switched soaps

This lot have played a number of roles!

Soap stars who've switched soaps

by Alex Ross |
Updated on

As a nation, we've become obsessed with soaps over the last couple of decades, whether it's the drama on the cobbles in Coronation Street, the youth of Hollyoaks, the dramatic scenes in Emmerdale, or the cliffhanger storylines in EastEnders, they all bring something very different.

Over the years we've seen some amazing characters grace our screens, as well as on soaps such as Crossroads, Home and Away and Neighbours, but did you know that a lot of your favourite soap stars have actually appeared on more than one soap?!

Check out 25 popular actors who've switched soaps:


actors who've switched soaps RADIO STACKED

Gemma Atkinson1 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Gemma Atkinson

Before leaving the world of soap for radio, Gemma Atkinson played the role Lisa Hunter on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks between 2001 and 2005.The actress then joined Emmerdale in 2015, playing the character Carly Hope.

David Neilson2 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

David Neilson

You'll recognise David Neilson as popular Coronation Street character Roy Cropper! But before David joined the Cobbles, the actor appeared on EastEnders in the early 1990s!

Sue Nicholls3 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Sue Nicholls

Coronation Street legend Sue Nicholls (or Audrey Roberts as you may know her), has been on the ITV soap since 1979, but the actress also played a part on Crossroads between 1964–68.

Ross Kemp4 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Ross Kemp

Before playing the role of the infamous Grant Mitchell in EastEnders, hard-man Ross Kemp played Graham Lodsworth in Emmerdale for 22 episodes!

Ray Quinn5 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Ray Quinn

When Ray Quinn joined the cast of Hollyoaks in 2018, many thought it was his first acting role, with a lot of people only knowing him for his stint on The X Factor. However, Ray was actually a child actor way before his singing career, playing the role of Anthony Murray in Brookside between 2000-2003.

Catherine Tyldesley6 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Catherine Tyldesley

Back in 2010, Catherine Tyldesley played the role of Abi Peterson in Emmerdale. Her stint on the show didn't last long, with the actress going on to land the role of Eva Price in Coronation Street, a role she played for seven years.

Jamie Lomas7 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Jamie Lomas

Jamie Lomas was known as Hollyoaks bad boy Warren Fox on and off between 2006 and 2018. Between this role, Jamie joined the cast of EastEnders as Jake Stone... Before making a return to Hollyoaks again in 2019. We can't keep up!

Daniella Westbrook8 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Danniella Westbrook

Danniella Westbrook first found fame when she was cast as Samantha Mitchell in EastEnders in the 90s. Due to personal struggles and addictions, Danniella was axed from the role, before returning for four episodes in 2016.The actress later joined the cast of Hollyoaks, playing Trudy Ryan in 2013... Until she was axed not long after.

Nikki Sanderson9 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Nikki Sanderson

Nikki Sanderson joined the cast of Coronation Street in 1999, playing the role of Candice Stowe for 397 episodes. In 2012, Nikki joined Hollyoaks, where she's been known as Maxine Minniver for over 400 episodes.

Alex Fletcher10 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Alex Fletcher

She's known as Diane O'Connor in Hollyoaks right now, but before joining the soap in 2010, Alex actually appeared on Brookside between 1990 and 2003.

Michelle Collins11 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Michelle Collins

If you're a fan of BBC soap EastEnders, you'll remember Michelle Collins bursting onto the scene as Cindy Beale in 1988. After her character was killed off in 1998, Michelle went on to join Coronation Street, playing the role of Stella Price for 447 episodes.

Chris Fountain12 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Chris Fountain

Before Chris Fountain released an offensive rap video online, he was best known as playing the role of Justin Burton in Hollyoaks.Two years after leaving the Oaks, Justin landed a role on Coronation Street as Tommy Duckworth, but he was sacked in 2013 for 'that' video.

Adele Silva13 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Adele Silva

You'll probably recognise Adele for portraying the role of Kelly Windsor in Emmerdale between 1993-2000, but the actress later joined Hollyoaks as Angela Brown in 2015.

Gemma BIssex14 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Gemma BIssex

Gemma Bissex has made a career out of playing the 'villain' character in soaps. After making her soap debut in 1993 as Clare Bates in EastEnders, Gemma went on to join the cast of Hollyoaks, playing the equally as evil character Clare Devine.

Adam Rickett15 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Adam Rickett

Adam's Coronation Street character Nick Tilsley was adored by fans between 1997 to 1999, and again between 2002 to 2004After going on to try out a pop career, Adam returned to the world of soap in 2017, joining the cast of Hollyoaks as Kyle Kelly. However, in 2020 his character was killed off by bosses.

Claire King16 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Claire King

Actress Claire King was loved by Emmerdale fans between 1989–1999, as she played the role of the infamous Kim Tate. Before making her return to the soap in 2018, Claire had a small role in Hollyoaks in 2005. As if this wasn't enough, Claire played the role of Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street from 2014 until 2017.

Anthony Quinlan17 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Anthony Quinlan

Before joining Emmerdale in 2013 as character Pete Barton, Anthony Quinlan was one of the most popular Hollyoaks character with fans, playing the role of Gilly Roach between 2005-2011.

Angela Griffin18 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Angela Griffin

Angela made her soap debut playing the role of Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street in 1992. The actress then joined Emmerdale as Tina in 1993, but she only lasted two episodes.

Gillian Taylforth19 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Gillian Taylforth

Popular actress Gillian Taylforth joined the cast of EastEnders way back in 1985 as Ian Beale's mum Kathy Beale. However, Gillian's character was killed off in a tragic car accident in 2006.Gillian then joined Hollyoaks in 2013 playing mum-of-five Sandy Roscoe. But here is the confusing bit... EastEnders fans were left shocked to the core in 2015 when she made a return to the soap as Kathy Beale!That's the world of soaps for you!

Sherrie Hewson20 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Sherrie Hewson

Sherrie Hewson first started her soap career on Coronation Street way back in 1993, playing the role of Maureen Webster. The actress then joined Crossroads as Virginia Raven in 2001, before going on to Lesley Meredith in Emmerdale in 2004.

Gaynor Faye21 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Gaynor Faye

Gaynor Faye has been lucky enough to land two major roles in two major soaps! Before joining the cast of Emmerdale as Megan Macey in 2012, Gaynor was best know for playing Judy Mallett in Coronation Street.

James Sutton22 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

James Sutton

James Sutton appeared on and off in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks as John Paul McQueen for nearly 500 episodes, before he jumped ship and landed the role of Ryan Lamb in Emmerdale in 2009.James still makes a number of appearances in Hollyoaks, with the McQueen family still very popular with fans.

Sheree Murphy23 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Sheree Murphy

Not only did Sheree land roles in both Emmerdale (Tricia Dingle) and Hollyoaks (Eva Strong), the actress has also appeared in Australian soap Neighbours as Dakota Davies.

Lucy-Jo Hudson24 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Lucy-Jo Hudson

Lucy-Jo's character Katy Harris was very popular with Coronation Street fans between 2002-2005. However, her character was tragically killed of in a suicide storyline in 2005. In 2018, Lucy-Jo returned to the world of soaps, joining the cast of Hollyoaks as Donna-Marie Quinn.

Chris Bisson25 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Chris Bisson

You'll recognise Chris Bisson as Jai Sharma in Emmerdale, but the actor played the role of Vikram Desai in Coronation Street between 1999–2002.

Hayley Tamaddon26 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Hayley Tamaddon

As well as playing the role of Del Dingle in Emmerdale, Hayley also starred in Coronation Street, portraying the character Andrea Beckett.

John Middleton27 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 PA Images

John Middleton

He's best known for his role as vicar Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale (between 1996 to 2017), but actor John actually appeared in Coronation Street as John Hargreaves in 1993.

Kirsty-Leigh Porter28 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Kirsty-Leigh Porter

She's played the role of Leela Lomax in Hollyoaks since 2013, but Kirsty-Leigh has also appeared in both Emmerdale and Coronation Street. She played the role of Zoe Willson in Coronation Street and Roz Fielding in Emmerdale.

Katie McGlynn29 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Lime Pictures

Katie McGlynn

Katie played the role of Sinead Tinker in Coronation Street for six years between 2013-2019, but after leaving the soap, the actress joined Hollyoaks in July 2021 as Becky.

Natalie Anderson30 of 30
CREDIT: u00a9 Lime Pictures

Natalie Anderson

Natalie was best known for her role as Alicia Metcalfe in Emmerdale between 2010-2015. After a six-year gap from the world of soaps, Natalie joined the cast of Hollyoaks in 2021, playing the role of Lexi.


If you’re a sucker for the Spice Girls and love a bit of One Direction, you need heat Radio in your life. We’re online at heatradio.com. You can still get us on the free app on your Android, iPhone or tablet. Tune in on Freeview channel 716 on the telly or get us on your smart speaker by asking it to "play heat radio."

Download our heat radio app on Android

Download our heat radio app on iOS

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us