EastEnders actor from Portsmouth tells others to 'follow their dreams'

LIFELONG EastEnders and soap actor Emma Barton says she still has to ‘pinch herself’ when working on set, as the Portsmouth-born actor told others to ‘follow their dreams’.

Saturday, 6th November 2021, 12:30 pm
Emma Barton speaking with children from Highbury Primary School. Picture: Mike Cooter (051121)
Emma Barton speaking with children from Highbury Primary School. Picture: Mike Cooter (051121)

During a visit to Highbury Primary School in Cosham as part of a new community project, the 44-year-old star reflected on her acting career that began during her time at Horndean College.

Emma, who joined the popular soap in 2005 as Honey Mitchell, said: ‘It was a real step up in my career because I’m a theatre actress. It’s wonderful to be a part of such a solid family cast and an iconic show. I have been a massive fan of it since it first started in 1985.

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Teacher Charley Poolton with Emma Barton and headteacher Ashley Howard together with children from the Pupil's Parliament at Highbury Primary. Picture: Mike Cooter (051121)

‘I had a scrapbook of newspaper articles that had anything to do with the show – before you could get the television magazines.

‘Got into acting back when I was at Horndean College, where I was in a production of the musical Smike. I really enjoyed it so I started going to the Bedhampton Arts Centre. I thought: “I really want this to be my career.” My parents weren’t so sure and thought I should have a back up.

‘So I invested in going to drama school – I went to the Guildford School of Acting and got a diploma in musical theatre. When you graduate you can then get an agent. The rest is history.

‘I still pinch myself all the time. I have moments where I’m in the square or the Vic and I can’t believe I’m there.

‘I would tell others to follow their dreams and work hard. Always be prepared for the hard work – you can’t cut corners.’

When asked about any highlights during her time on the square she added: ‘When I was 16 years old I did a drama course with Lorraine Stanley, who is also from Portsmouth.

‘The day I was told she was joining Eastenders to play Karen Taylor I almost fell off my chair. She was another Pompey girl and now here she was with me on TV.’

Emma has also had a successful musical theatre career, was on the TV show Spooks and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2019.

She currently lives in Surrey.

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