This Is What Your Favourite 90s TV Stars Are Up To Now – From Psychotherapist To Gin Bar Owner

Here's what the likes of Diane Youdale, Adam Rickitt, Michelle Gayle and Jesse Spencer have been up to since the 1990s.

As part of our Rewind To The 90s series, we’ve spent the past few weeks getting all nostalgic about our favourite 90s shows, from Gladiators to Live & Kicking. And all that got us to thinking – where are the stars that helped define a decade of TV now?

While some have continued to enjoy hugely successful on-screen careers, others have turned to different pursuits over years, including psychotherapy, becoming wedding celebrants and opening gin bars.

Here’s just a selection of what some of our favourite 90s stars have been up to since first finding fame...

Carol Smillie


She was already a household name thanks to her roles on The Holiday Show and Wheel Of Fortune, but Carol Smilie became part of a national phenomenon when she started hosting the BBC’s home makeover show Changing Rooms in 1996.

After leaving her role six years later, Carol was a contestant on the 2006 series of Strictly Come Dancing, and appeared in touring productions of stage shows The Vagina Monologues and Hormonal Housewives.

In 2012, she launched her own business DiaryDoll, creating a range of women’s underwear specifically for use during periods, and in 2018, she became a Humanist celebrant, conducting humanist, non-religious weddings, funerals and baby-namings.

When it was announced Changing Rooms was to be revived by Channel 4 in 2021, reports claimed that Carol had not been not approached about reprising her presenting role, with Davina McCall announced as presenter instead – although Anna Richardson actually ended up hosting when Davina pulled out due to scheduling conflicts.

Carol made a return to TV in 2022, appearing as a guest on Richard Osman’s House Of Games.

Adam Rickitt


Adam shot to fame when he was cast as the new Nick Tyldesly in Coronation Street in 1997, quickly becoming a soap heartthrob thanks to his frequent shirtless scenes.

He left the show in 1999 to launch a pop career, which spawned unofficial gay anthem I Breathe Again, but later returned to t’cobbles for another two-year stint in 2002, after which current actor Ben Price later took over the role.

In 2005, Adam was approved as a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party, but his political ambitions failed to progress and he later moved to New Zealand, where he appeared in medical soap Shortland Street between 2007 and 2010, playing Kieran Mitchell.

After returning to the UK, Adam appeared on ITV2’s The Big Reunion in 2014, forming a new boyband with Blazin’ Squad’s Kenzie, Dane Bowers, Kavana and Gareth Gates.

Most recently, Adam was seen playing Kyle Kelly on Hollyoaks between 2017 and 2020.

He is now married to former Good Morning Britain presenter Katy Fawcett, and together they run the Dexter & Jones gin bar in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Helen Baxendale


Helen was known for two big roles back in the 90s, appearing as Rachel Bradley in Cold Feet, as well as for her guest appearances as Ross Geller’s girlfriend – and later wife – Emily on Friends, during the fourth and fifth seasons.

After her Cold Feet character was killed off during its fifth and – at the time – final season in 2003, Helen took a break from the limelight to start a family, before enjoying guest parts in series such as Agatha Christie’s Marple and Poirot, Lewis and Inspector George Gently.

Her most high-profile role was in BBC Three sitcom Cuckoo, which aired between 2012 and 2019. She also played housekeeper Meggie McGregor in the BBC’s adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s novel Noughts + Crosses in 2020.

Jeremy Spake


Jeremy became an unlikely celebrity after he was one of the Heathrow workers featured in the BBC’s fly-on-the-wall documentary series Airport, which began in 1996.

He worked as a ground services manager for Russian airline Aeroflot, but began taking on more TV work thanks to his newfound fame, featuring on shows including The Toughest Job in Britain, Holiday, The Angry Pirate and City Hospital.

Following this, Jeremy published two books about his experiences of working in an airport, and about the jobs he was filmed doing for his show The Toughest Job in Britain.

In 2018, he was announced as airport operations manager for Ronaldsway.

Jeremy is soon set to return to our screens in new series Inside the Airport: The Return Of Jeremy Spake, which was announced by the BBC in February 2022.

The show will see him go back to where it all began at Heathrow to discover the realities and key challenges the airport and its staff have faced following the pandemic.

Michelle Gayle


Following her roles in kids shows Grange Hill and Press Gang, Michelle shot to fame when she joined the cast of EastEnders as Hattie Tavernier in 1990, appearing on the soap for three years.

She left to launch a music career, achieving seven top 40 singles, including 1994 number four hit Sweetness.

After moving into the world of theatre, including playing the role of Belle in a production of Beauty And The Beast, Michelle made an attempt to revive her singing career when she appeared on 2004 reality series Reborn In The USA, where former British pop acts were transported to the US to see if they could find success.

Four years later, Michelle was also in the running to represent the UK at Eurovision, but lost out to former X Factor star Andy Abraham.

As well as reality TV appearances on The Games and Dancing On Wheels, Michelle has had other TV acting roles including parts in Doctors, Holby City and Family Affairs.

In 2019, Michelle began playing Hermione Granger in the West End production of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, and is also often seen as a news reviewer on This Morning.

Neil Buchanan


Best known as the beloved host of children’s arts and crafts series Art Attack and chaotic game show Finders Keepers – not to mention his role as Smart Arty in comic book show ZZZap! – Neil was a mainstay on British kids TV between 1990 and 2007.

Prior to finding fame, Neil played in a heavy metal band called Marseille, which he reformed in 2010, and they released a new album called Unfinished Business.

In 2020, Neil also put out a statement insisting he was not famous street artist Banksy, after much online speculation.

Neil’s website says he now spends “most of his time painting and exhibiting his own art and photography”.

Diane Youdale


Gladiators fans know Diane better under the moniker Jet, having made that name for herself as part of the line-up on the classic physical challenge show.

After injury pushed her out of the series in 1996, Diane forged a career as a TV presenter, hosting You Bet! alongside Darren Day, and Finders Keepers with Neil Buchanan.

Diane now works as a practising psychotherapist, counsellor and coach, and has made appearances as a professional psyche on Big Brother’s Bit On The Side and Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Jack Ryder


Jack was just 17 when he joined EastEnders as Jamie Mitchell in 1998. The character became central to a number of storylines, while Jack became a teen magazine favourite, before Jamie was killed off in 2002.

Shortly afterwards, Jack married former Hear’Say singer Kym Marsh, with the pair staying together for seven years.

Since EastEnders, Jack began treading the boards in productions The Play What I Wrote, Romeo and Juliet and Calendar Girls, before he began directing in the theatre, on shows including The Full Monty, as well as The Girls and The Band, where he worked with Gary Barlow.

After a 2016 role in Kay Mellor’s BBC drama In the Club, Jack joined the cast of Holby City in 2019, appearing as consultant general surgeon Evan Crowhurst for six months.

After leaving the show, he published his debut book, a children’s novel.

Claire Sweeney


After initially appearing in a recurring guest role in 1991, Claire became one of the leading stars of Channel 4’s now defunct soap Brookside when she re-joined the cast full time as Lyndsey Corkill in 1995.

When the soap came to an end in 2003, Claire enjoyed a career as a TV presenter, hosting 60 Minute Makeover and appearing as a Loose Women panellist, as well as competing in the very first series of Strictly Come Dancing.

Having also starred as Roxie Hart in Chicago and released an album during her Brookside stint, Claire has continued to work in musical theatre, appearing alongside the late Patrick Swayze in Guys And Dolls, as well as productions of Tell Me On A Sunday, Hairspray, Educating Rita, White Christmas and Legally Blonde: The Musical.

In 2019, she appeared in BBC drama Scarborough, having also made prior guest appearances in Benidorm, Holby City and Doctors.

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer
Jesse Spencer

Jesse was Neighbours’ resident teenage heartthrob, playing Billy Kennedy between 1994 and 2000, and has gone on to become a huge US TV star since leaving Ramsay Street behind.

He starred as Dr Robert Chase in 171 episodes of medical drama House from 2004 to 2012.

After the series finished, he landed a role in Chicago Fire, opposite former “Mr Lady Gaga” Taylor Kinney. Jesse left the show in 2021 after 10 seasons, but continues to play Lt. Matthew Casey in sister series Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med.

Patricia Routledge


Patricia had a dazzling list of stage and screen credits before she was cast in BBC sitcom Keeping Up Appearances in 1990, but for millions of us, she will be forever remembered as indomitable snob Hyacinth Bucket.

After the show came to an end in 1995, Patricia took on a contrasting role as a private investigator in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, which ran for four series until 1998.

Her most recent TV acting credit was for the narrator in 2005 kids TV series Blips, but she did front a special Beatrix Potter celebration in 2016, having been a patron of the Beatrix Potter Society. She also continued to appear in numerous stage roles until 2014.

In 2017, she was made a dame for her services to entertainment and charity.

John Fashanu


Former footballer John was the original co-presenter of Gladiators, hosting the first five series alongside Ulrika Johnson from 1992 to 1996, before returning for the eighth and final run in 1999.

Four years later, he appeared on the second series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, where he finished runner-up to Phil Tuffnell.

John later moved to Nigeria, where he was the host of game show Deal Or No Deal – based on the Channel 4 show of the same name – between 2007 and 2020.

The same year, he returned to UK TV when he appeared on the second celebrity series of SAS: Who Dares Wins?, but had to voluntarily withdraw during the third episode.

Konnie Huq


Konnie became the longest-serving female Blue Peter presenter after joining the children’s show in 1997, clocking up a tenure of 10 years and 53 days.

She went onto host Sky1 series Guinness World Records Smashed alongside Steve Jones, before landing the much sought-after job of fronting The Xtra Factor in 2010. However she was axed after just one series, to be replaced by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack.

Since then, Konnie married TV personality Charlie Brooker, and the couple co-wrote an 2011 episode of his Channel 4 series Black Mirror together entitled Fifteen Million Merits, which sent up The X Factor. The couple welcomed their second child in 2014.

In 2019, Konnie published her first children’s book, Cookie, which has since spawned a number of follow-ups.

Michael Greco

Michael Greco
Michael Greco

Michael is best known for playing EastEnders hunk Beppe DiMarco between 1998 and 2002.

After leaving the soap, Michael made appearances on reality TV, including Celebrity Love Island in 2005 and Soapstar Superstar the following year, as well as popping up on an episode of BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.

More recently, Michael had a guest role in Casualty in 2017, before appearing on sister show Holby City as a completely different character for two episodes in 2022.

It has been reported that Michael has also amassed a fortune through playing poker professionally over the years.

Melissa Joan Hart


Melissa is much loved by a generation for her role as Sabrina The Teenage Witch, which aired between 1996 and 2003, as well as for playing the title role in Clarissa Explains It All prior to that.

After the Sabrina ended, Melissa took a break from the spotlight and married musician Mark Wilkerson, before starting a family.

She appeared on the US version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2009. She was partnered with the son of Strictly judge Shirley Ballas, Mark, and was eliminated in week six out of 10 of the competition.

The following year, she returned with a new sitcom entitled Melissa & Joey, which aired for four seasons, until it was cancelled in August 2015. In 2018, she landed her own Netflix series, taking the lead in sitcom No Good Nick, and in 2020, she began working as a director on the Big Bang Theory spin-off, Young Sheldon.

Jayne Middlemiss


Jayne was one of the major faces of music TV back in the 90s, fronting the likes of Top Of The Pops and The O-Zone for the BBC.

In 2004, she was reunited with former co-host Jamie Theakston on The Games, and presented alongside Craig Charles on Robot Wars, before appearing as a contestant on the first series of Celebrity Love Island, which she won with Fran Cosgrave.

After winning Celebrity Masterchef in 2009, Jayne now continues to work as a radio DJ, and has presented on stations including Absolute and Virgin.

She also was one of the main talking heads on Channel 4’s documentary Spice Girls: How Girl Power Changed Britain in 2021.

Andi Peters


Kids of the 90s will remember Andi was a regular fixture on CBBC, presenting links in between shows from the famous broom cupboard with Edd The Duck, as well as teaming up with Emma Forbes to host Saturday morning’s Live & Kicking between 1993 and 1996.

Following that, Andi began working behind the scenes on TV, producing the likes of Top Of The Pops and Shipwrecked.

In more recent years, Andi has returned to on-screen work, first making annual appearances on The X Factor, before joining ITV daytime’s on-air team.

After hosting short-lived game show Ejector Seat, he regularly fronts competition segments for Good Morning Britain and Lorraine, and has also stepped in to cover for Lorraine Kelly on her show. He also frequently pops up on Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

Tracy Shaw


Tracy found fame on the cobbles of Coronation Street, starring as hair stylist Maxine Peacock for eight years until her character was bumped off by serial killer Richard Hillman in 2003.

During her Corrie stint, Tracy also had a short-lived pop career, releasing two singles in 1998.

After leaving the soap, she set up her own foundation to help people with eating disorders, but closed it in 2007.

A guest appearance in Casualty in 2009 was her most recent acting role on TV, according to IMDB, but she has starred in a number of stage productions, including The Cat and the Canary in 2021, in which she played the lead role of Annabelle.

Josie D’Arby

Getty/TV Times/BBC

Josie began her career as a CBBC presenter, hosting links in between shows, as well as arts and crafts show SMart until 1998, when she left to launch her own self-titled chat show on Channel 5 the following year. She also hosted Top Of The Pops and The Big Breakfast spin-off, Bigger Breakfast.

Since then, Josie has had a varied career, with acting roles in the likes of 2000s police drama Merseybeat and 2005 Channel 4 sketch show Spoons, as well as presenting roles on Songs Of Praise and current affairs programme Inside Out for BBC West, for which she won an RTS award.

Josie has fronted coverage of the BBC’s Proms In The Park for more than a decade, as well as other musical programming including BBCs Choir of the Year and BBC Young Musician, as well as making a number of appearances across BBC radio.

She was crowned winner of Celebrity Painting Challenge in 2019.

Kate Ritchie


As one of the original cast members of Home And Away, Kate was just nine when she started playing Sally Fletcher in 1988 and grew up on screen during the 1990s, when the Aussie soap was at the height of its popularity here in the UK.

She continued to appear on H&A as a series regular until 2008, making a subsequent guest appearance in 2013.

Away from Summer Bay, Kate has established herself as one of Australia’s most popular radio personalities, and is currently part of Nova FM’s national drive show, Kate, Tim & Joel, with Tim Blackwell and Joel Creasey.

In 2021, she was announced as a new judge on Australia’s Got Talent, alongside our very own BGT judge Alesha Dixon and How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris.


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