Soap stars who dated show rivals from Michelle Keegan to Gemma Atkinson

EastEnders actor Toby-Alexander Smith has gone Instagram official with Emmerdale girlfriend Amy Walsh – sharing a loved-up snap on social media.

While the pair have been dating since the end of last year, it’s the first time they have officially confirmed their romance.

Toby-Alexander, 31, plays serial killer Gray Atkins in the London-based soap, while Amy stars as Tracy Metcalfe in the Dales-set show.

Amy – who is known as Tracy Metcalfe in Emmerdale – shared a string of photos from the romantic day.

After snapping a selfie of the pair, Amy, 34, posted it on her Insta account, before Toby quickly reshared the same snap.

The caption on the pic read: "At the Machin-Crane Wedding 2.0".

It was revealed in December last year that the couple were dating, before they made their first public appearance on the red carpet at A Christmas Carol in London.

And they’re not the only soap stars to have romanced actors from rival shows.

Jane Danson and Robert Beck

Jane, 42, has played Coronation Street’s Leanne Battersby one and off since 1998.

She met actor husband Robert Beck at the British Soap Awards a year later, marrying him in 2005.

At the time, former Brookside star Robert had the role of Gavin Ferris in Emmerdale. Jane claimed she had fancied Robert since she was 15, and later said that he was “absolutely my best friend in the world” and they’d only had two rows in 20 years of marriage.

The pair have two sons together, Harry and Sam and Robert, 50, has since had roles in Hollyoaks and alongside his wife in Corrie.

Georgia Taylor and Mark Letheren

Keeping it in the family, Georgia, who plays Leanne’s stepsister Toyah in Corrie also dated an actor from a competing soap.

Her long-term partner Mark was previously in EastEnders where he acted as hospital chaplain Reverend Chris Skinner.

The pair met on the set of hospital drama Casualty in 2010 and live in Bristol together.

After a break from Corrie, Georgia, 41, rejoined the soap in 2016 and is there to this day, and has also appeared in Celebrity Gogglebox with her actress pal Sunetra Sarker.

Meanwhile Mark, 50, has gone on to perform in Silent Witness and DCI Banks.

Michelle Keegan and Anthony Quinlan

Before she settled down with The Only Way is Essex husband Mark Wright, former Corrie star Michelle dated Anthony Quinlan for two years.

The pair hooked up in 2006 – a year before Michelle took on her Tina McIntyre role on the Cobbles.

At the time Anthony played Gilly Roach in Hollyoaks, and while there were reports that he dumped Michelle due to her sexy Coronation Street scenes, he has said the split was “amicable”.

Michelle’s character Tina was killed off in Corrie in 2014 and the 34-year-old went on to star in shows such as Our Girl and Brassic, while Anthony, 36, went on to spend seven years acting in Emmerdale as Pete Barton and also dated Strictly Come Dancing professional Dianne Buswell.

Kym Marsh and Jamie Lomas

The pair began dating in 2009 after Kym’s divorce from former EastEnders star Jack Ryder.

At the time Kym played Michelle Connor while Jamie Lomas was starring as gangster Warren Fox in Hollyoaks.

In February 2009, the pair welcomed their son Archie, who tragically died shortly after he was born.

They have daughter Polly together, but had a rollercoaster relationship and despite marrying in 2012 they divorced just two years later.

Kym, 45, is now engaged to army major Scott Ratcliff, while Jamie, 46, dated Hollyoaks staffer Portia Hughes, who was 18 years younger than him.

Gemma Atkinson and Cleveland Campbell

In 2003, while starring in Hollyoaks as Lisa Hunter, Gemma had a two-year relationship with Emmerdale actor Cleveland Campbell.

He played antiques dealer Danny Daggert. In 2006 Cleveland appeared in court charged with grievous bodily harm following an alleged altercation at Gemma’s 21st birthday party.

But the case against him was dismissed in 2007. Gemma, 36, who has also appeared in Emmerdale and Strictly Come Dancing, is now engaged to professional dancer Gorka Márquez and the pair also have a daughter, Mia.

Cleveland's family are originally from Kingston, Jamaica.

As well as portraying Danny in Emmerdale, he appeared in The Bill and Sunshine with Steve Coogan.

In 2007, he appeared in pantomime at the Tameside Hippodrome.

Before entering show business, he had previously completed a performing arts course at Hopwood Hall College.

On its completion, Cleveland also began a course in Hairdressing. He completed the level 2 qualification but did not move on as he got his part in Emmerdale.

Sophie Austin and Shayne Ward

Sophie’s Hollyoaks turn as murderous Lindsey Roscoe, aka The Gloved Hand Killer, didn’t deter Corrie star Shayne and the pair started dating in 2016, after Sophie split from her husband, fellow actor Graeme Rooney.

They had daughter Willow later that year. Sophie, 37, left the Chester soap in 2016 while former X Factor champ Shayne, 36, departed his Corrie role as Aidan Connor in 2018 in a hard-hitting suicide storyline.

While the pair got engaged in 2017, they have been forced to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic.

Shayne had since got back into music and recently released a new single.

Liam Fox and Nicole Barber-Lane

Nicole’s Hollyoaks character Myra McQueen was never very lucky in love.

And life seemed to imitate art when she split from her Emmerdale husband Liam, who plays Dan Spencer, in 2015.

Liam and Nicole, both 51, first met in 1997, tied the knot two years later and have two children. Nicole left Hollyoaks in 2019 after 13 years and storylines which included her abandoned son trying to kill her family.

Meanwhile Liam, who has been in Emmerdale since 2011, has had plots including a brief marriage to Chas Dingle.

Last year Liam got married again to fellow actor and university pal Joanna Hudson and while Nicole was invited, she couldn’t make the big day.

  • Coronation Street
  • Eastenders
  • Emmerdale
  • Hollyoaks
  • Gemma Atkinson
  • Michelle Keegan
  • Kym Marsh

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