Hollyoaks Kurt Benson star Jeremy Edwards reveals why hes stopped acting after 30 years

Hollyoaks alumni Jeremy Edwards has opened up on why he has turned his back on fame after being a heartthrob in the nineties.

The actor, 52, played Kurt Benson in the Channel 4 soap and was once in a high-profile celebrity couple – engaged to S Club 7's Rachel Stevens. But now Jeremy has given up acting to pursue a different career after parting ways with his agent last year.

He is now teaching drama at Film UK in Hampshire after deciding, post-Covid, that acting was too unpredictable – especially given that he now has a family. He is a father-of-two and happily married to wife, Lydia Metz.

Jeremy told The Sun: “During Covid the simple fact was there was no work and now there is an actor's strike in America. There are so many reasons why you can be out of work and I thought, this is so unpredictable and I have a family. I thought I've got thirty years of experience here, what am I doing?

"I could be helping people. So I started doing some classes with people helping them with scripts and speeches and then it slowly developed into a business and now I work with various groups and I'm teaching kids in Hampshire.”

Jeremy’s mum was a teacher and he said helping young people was more fun and rewarding than acting. He also said he gets more nervous being in front of a classroom of youngsters than being on TV because ‘kids don't suffer fools’.

Jeremy married Lydia in 2009. Before that, he was engaged to Rachel Stevens but they split in 2003. Jeremy said he and Rachel had been offered £2million for their wedding photos but turned it down.

After leaving Hollyoaks in 1999, Jeremy played Danny Shaughnessy in Holby City for four years, until 2003. He went on to have some more TV roles before briefly quitting showbiz in 2011 to work as a builder.

But he returned to acting – starring as Mike Taylor in CBBC show Millie Inbetween from 2014 to 2018, while also appearing in several plays. In October 2019, he also appeared on ITV series The X Factor: Celebrity as part of a duo with ballroom dancer Brendan Cole, but he said he was treated so badly on a job last year he decided to turn his back on acting for good.

He told The Sun he ‘worked his nuts off’ in a play for six months but ‘got paid a pittance’ and ‘was treated appallingly’.

He said: "It doesn't matter how much you have done in the past, they treat you like s***. You are playing to half empty theatres and you think, what are you doing with your life?"

Jeremy is now proud of the new direction his life has taken – even if it has come as a shock to some of the parents of children he teaches, who had his poster on their walls when they were younger. He went on to say he ‘never enjoyed being famous’ and now just wants to spend time with his children.

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