Elliot Rosen always wanted to be in EastEnders – now his dream has come true, as he joins the cast of the soap for two episodes
“He watched so much EastEnders, I had to tell him it wasn’t real life,” says Elliot Rosen’s mum, Stephanie. Even as a young boy, Elliot, now 32, was so enthralled by the goings on in Albert Square that he dreamed of being caught up in the storylines himself.
“I just always wanted to be in EastEnders,” explains Elliot, who is actually a north Londoner. This September, his childhood dream will come true, as he comes to Walford – and our television screens – for two episodes from 16 September. He plays Craig Moon, the long-lost son of Eddie Moon, played by David Essex (pictured, with Elliot).
Elliot’s career began at the age of 11, when his dad, Stuart, enrolled him in the inclusive theatre company Chickenshed. His work with Chickenshed led to his first television role on ITV’s London’s Burning.
“The casting people contacted Chickenshed and said they wanted to cast a boy with Down’s syndrome,” explains Stephanie. “They came down, and picked Elliot.” During his appearance, he had to help his father, who was stuck under a caravan.
He went on to appear in William and Mary, Holby City and Peak Practice, and some television adverts. Plus, he played the lead role of Richard in the Channel 4 drama Richard is my boyfriend and hosted a BBC schools programme on special needs called Go for it. But it was in 2007 that he got a little closer to his dream – he was chosen for a walk-on part in EastEnders, when Pat Butcher visited the institution that was home to her sister, Joan, who had Down’s syndrome.
“It wasn’t very much,” admits Elliot, but it was a sign of what was to come. Earlier this year, Elliot’s agent got him an audition for the part of Craig.
“I had to read a script and be recorded on camera,” explains Elliot. “They talked about the part, and asked me about my hobbies – supporting Arsenal, music, DJing, playing the drums and going out with my friends. It went really well – I don’t really get nervous at auditions, I’m used to them now.”
Two days later, Stephanie had a call from Elliot’s agent. Elliot was at work – he has a part-time front-of-house job at a local theatre. “When dad picked me up, I asked if he had heard anything and he said ‘no’, but when I got home, mum told me that I’d got the part. I was surprised, but really excited.”