EastEnders’ Dr Fonseca star Jimi Mistry unrecognisable after swapping acting for very different career


EASTENDERS got a new doctor in 1998 – as Dr Fred Fonseca took over from the late lamented Dr Harold Legg.

The role made actor Jimi Mistry a household name and put him on a pathway to movies and a stint in rival soap Coronation Street.

Jimi Minstry joined EastEnders as Dr Fred Fonseca in 1998
The star, seen here picking up his Christmas tree, is now a chef

However, these days Jimi – now 49 – has swapped the stethoscope for a frying pan, becoming a chef.

Sporting a beard but without the long hair he had when he joined EastEnders, the actor lives a rural lifestyle in Devon with his Strictly Come Dancing star wife Flavia.

They sell eggs from their chicken, grow their own fruit and veg including pumpkins and plums and even breed rare sheep.

Jimi and Flavia live in a converted stone barn on the seven-acre estate after Jimi gave up acting and retrained as a chef.

The pair, who celebrated eight years of marriage last month, even have their own barn-based Instagram account to keep fans updated.

Speaking to Hello! last year Jimi said: “In the past, we couldn’t even keep a houseplant without killing it because we were never home.

“It’s second nature to me now to pick a vegetable or collect an egg and cook it. I couldn’t imagine buying them in the supermarket.”

Jimi appeared in a string of films including East Is East, Blood Diamond, The Guru and The Truth About Love.

He also joined Coronation Street in 2013 playing Khalid ‘Kal’ Nazir, the old army friend of Gary Windass.

In 2010 he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing with Flavia Cacace, who he married three years later.

These days he lives in rural Devon with his Strictly Come Dancing wife

He joined the show alongside Jack Ryder and Tamzin Outhwaite


The Doc being taken to task by Josie back in 2000