X Factor: Celebritys Jonny Labey makes dig at EastEnders after being brought back from the dead for ITV show


X FACTOR: Celebrity’s Jonny Labey has made a dig at EastEnders after being “brought back from the dead” for the ITV singing competition.

The 26-year-old actor’s audition in front of Simon Cowell and co. will air in tomorrow night’s X Factor, with the star shooting to fame playing Paul Coker in the BBC One soap.

Jonny’s X Factor: Celebrity audition will air tomorrow night

Jonny joined EastEnders in 2015, with Paul Ben Mitchell’s first proper love – and viewers were obsessed with their relationship.

However, when exec producer Sean O’Connor joined the soap in 2016 he killed Paul off in a tragic – and brutal – homophobic attack, leaving Ben and fans devastated.

Opening up about his shock departure from Walford, Jonny said: “A new producer came on and he made some bold decisions.

“Often when a new producer comes on they try to change things around, and unfortunately I was a part of that decision.”

Jonny played Paul Coker in the BBC soap

Paul’s 2016 murder was devastating

The curly-haired hunk continued to The Daily Star: “To millions of EastEnders fans I am dead.

“Now they are digging me back up again. X Factor is the biggest show on TV so I jumped on board.

“Its being pinned as a life changing opportunity. This is such an incredible platform.”

Despite being axed three years ago, Paul still remains a huge part of EastEnders today and fans were heartbroken earlier this year when Ben revealed that he is still grieving for his late love.

Jonny hopes that X Factor will build his platform
EastEnders fans still remember his tragic character

The East End bad boy, now played by Max Bowden, was found curled up in Paul’s old bedroom as Whitney and Halfway threw a housewarming party after buying the Coker family’s old flat in June.

Sobbing as he clutched a pillow to his chest, Ben told Halfway: “This was his room. I had my first time in here, we spent our first proper night together in here.

“I haven’t done that since… Just sleep and hold.

“I didn’t meant to fall in love with Paul, I didn’t want to fall in love with blokes at all, but it don’t work like that.

Paul was Ben Mitchell’s first love

“I spent so long just trying to be someone else and then it hits you, it just goes bang.

“You can’t fight it, you’ve just got to let it take you.”

He then held up his left hand to show off his ring finger, which he’d previously tattooed Paul’s name onto, adding: “I got his tattoo removed. I just burnt it off, gone.

“Before I met him I was so lonely… Just feeling dead inside. And then you’re with someone like Paul and there you are… There you are.

“I would give my life for just one of them last seconds.”

Ben left fans heartbroken earlier this year when he broke down over Paul’s death
He even had his lover’s name tattooed on his ring finger

Paul was the grandson of Pam and Les Coker and was targeted by a group of homophobic thugs during a night out with Ben in Soho, with Ben being left ridden with guilt when he ran away as his boyfriend was beaten to a pulp.

Although the attack was not shown onscreen, fans were left deeply affected by the brutal murder – with Paul’s corpse later being shown as his grandparents organised his funeral.

After the show, Jonny won ITV’s celebrity competition Dance Dance Dance with girlfriend Chrissy Brooke.

He went on to be a judge on CBBCs biggest show Taking The Next Step alongside Marlon Swoosh and Kimberly Wyatt, and has also starred in the West End.

The X Factor: Celebrity continues tomorrow night at 8.30pm on ITV


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