I am not sure if it is something in the water but, for an island which is only 5 miles/8 km long by 9 miles/14.5 km wide, Jersey produces a remarkable amount of successful entertainers for both the stage and screen.
The latest young performer to join the ever growing list of Jersey celebrities that already include singer-songwriter Narina Pallot
and Superman – Man of Steel, Henry Cavill
is 22 year old Jonny Labey.
For those of us who have supported the youth theatre and AmDram productions in Jersey over the years, it was evident from a very young age, that whatever role Jonny played he bought something extra to it.
Acting and performing is in his blood, both his parents Collette and Mark tread the boards, as do his sisters Rachel and Katie. Jonny is an all round performer. He is a great singer and excellent dancer. He also preformed one of his own songs at Jersey Live in 2011. That year he began training at the Doreen Bird College of Performance, thanks to a well deserved bursary from the Jersey Arts Trust.
Last year he appeared in a London production of In The Heights and a film called Soft Lad written and directed by Leon Lopez, as well as a West End production of White Christmas. Jonny is now on the move from the West End to the East End. I was really pleased to hear that he had landed a part in EastEnders, but somehow not altogether surprised that his career has taken off so quickly.
His character in EastEnders is Paul Coker , the grandson of undertakers and flower stall holders Les and Pam. The producer of the longstanding TV series, which airs 4 nights a week and attracts up to 9 million viewers, Dominic Treadwell-Collins said
“Jonny’s a sensitive, clever and intuitive actor and has fitted in to his new Walford family with ease. We’re all looking forward to seeing the trouble that Paul will cause for his grandparents, as he uncovers some secrets from the past and sets one heart in particular racing…”
When Jonny found out that he had bagged the part he said
“I am overjoyed to have been given the role of Paul Coker and am thrilled to be joining the show at such a prevalent time – as it marks its 30th anniversary. I know I’ve got a lot of work to do to live up to the talent I shall be working with, but I have never felt more welcome and cannot wait to get started.”
Jonny’s first appearance in EastEnders will be in June 2015 and no doubt the show’s ratings will soar as 90,000 odd Islanders tune in to watch their home grown Jersey heart throb.