The EastEnders Miller family now – bankruptcy, career turnaround and splitting of two co-stars


EastEnders has seen many famous families move to Albert Square over the years, including the Watts, Mitchells and Fowlers.

In 2003, the first member of another famous family walked into the square, introducing us to Joe Swash’s Mickey Miller, who would soon become a fan favorite.

A year later, the rest of the Miller clan have arrived, bringing with them new drama and iconic moments – including the birth of new family members, deaths, and marriages that didn’t go as planned.

Nearly 20 years after Mickey Miller arrived at EastEnders, Daily Star takes a look at the whereabouts of the actors who played the Miller family now.

Joe Swash – Mickey Miller

Joe Swash joined EastEnders as Mickey Miler in 2003

Joe Swash shot to fame as eldest child Mickey Miller on EastEnders in 2003, but viewers might not know that he originally auditioned for another role two years prior – Spencer Moon.

However, Mickey quickly became a fan favorite, providing much-needed comic relief instead.

Sadly, two years later, Joe had to take three months off after being diagnosed with meningitis and encephalitis, causing brain swelling.

He spent six weeks in hospital after the diagnosis and, with the help of physiotherapists, had to learn to walk again.

Joe soon returned to Albert Square, and during his time on the soap he dated co-star Kara Tointon who played half-sister Dawn Swann – but the couple split in 2010.

In 2008, Mickey Miller was also dropped from the soap opera along with his father Keith Miller, played by actor David Spinx.

Joe Swash is married to TV personality Stacey Solomon
Joe Swash is married to TV personality Stacey Solomon

Speaking to The Mirror, his wife Stacey Solomon admitted that Joe was still disappointed with his character’s EastEnders exit, saying: “When I talk to Joe about his EastEnders exit, he’s always devastated, he doesn’t never had a ‘doof doof’.”

After leaving EastEnders, Joe won I’m A Celebrity 2008, but that happiness was short-lived as the actor was declared bankrupt the same year.

He told The Sun: “I fell behind on taxes and bills and buried my head in the sand which was the worst thing I could have done. I should have dealt with it.”

However, Joe’s life has since moved on and gotten better, with appearances on TV shows such as Celebrity Masterchef, Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Gogglebox.

Fans also shared their congratulatory messages when in 2021 he became a dad to a baby girl with partner Stacey Solomon.

Stacey regularly shares tidbits about their family life on social media, including a particularly embarrassing incident when she slammed Joe for not telling her her new leggings were see-through on a trip to the shops.

“You said come on let’s go,” Stacey clapped back to Joe on her Instagram story, after Joe said, “You’re a grown woman, you should be more careful what you’re wearing.”

Stacey said: “Joe let me walk around with them all day without even letting me know.

“We dressed in the dark before the school run and I didn’t even think to look in the mirror. Joe thinks that’s hilarious. Apparently he noticed but ‘forgot’ to say anything because we were in a rush.”

Shana Swash – Demi Miller

Demi Miller was played by Joe Swash's sister Shana
Demi Miller was played by Joe Swash’s sister Shana

Joe isn’t the only talented member of the Swash family, as his sister Shana starred alongside him as Demi Miller, a year after Joe joined the soap.

During her short time in the square, Demi was embroiled in storylines such as the death of her baby’s father and tensions between her family, before the character exited the soap opera in 2006.

Shana Swash has since entered the restaurant business
Shana Swash has since entered the restaurant business

Since then, Demi has made a career about-turn and ventured into the restaurant industry, while launching a coffee business in 2021 with husband Nick Jones.

Joe took to social media to pay tribute to his sister and her new venture, sharing an Instagram Story on the news.

In the story, Joe said: “My sister opens her very first Swash and Jones coffee stand, check this out.

“Super proud of my little sister and her companion.”

Kara Tointon – Dawn Swann

Kara Tointon played half-sister Dawn Swan
Kara Tointon played half-sister Dawn Swan

Long before lifting the Glitterball Trophy on Strictly Come Dancing, Kara Tointon played Mickey and Demi Miller’s half-sister, Dawn Swan.

Dawn’s huge stories included having a baby with a married man, before his wife tried to blow up the house she was staying in.

When Dawn was written off the show in 2009, going on a riverboat with Gary Hobbs and his daughter Summer, Kara admitted she was “heartbroken”.

During her time on the show, Kara also dated two of her EastEnders co-stars, dating in 2006 with Martin Fowler actor James Alexandrou for 18 months.

Shortly after, she started dating Joe Swash and the pair remained together for over two years – even performing together in a pantomime of Snow White at Bristol Hippodrome.

However, their relationship ended in 2010, leaving Kara devastated, with Joe telling The Sun: “She really does everything right. It’s my fault she broke down. I didn’t know what I had until until she’s gone.”

Kara Tointon won Strictly Come Dancing in 2010
Kara Tointon won Strictly Come Dancing in 2010

That same year, Kara showed off her moves on the dance floor and won the 2010 series of Strictly, as well as the heart of professional dance partner Artem Chigvintsev, whom she dated for four years.

Former EastEnders actress Dawn has continued to show off her impressive dance moves on stage since leaving the soap, performing on West End shows such as Pygmalion and playing the role of Maria on Sound of Music d ‘ITV.

She hasn’t left our TV screens either, appearing in programs such as Mr Selfridge, Henry IX and is listed as appearing in a number of TV series currently in production.

In 2016, Kara also gave birth to her first child with fiancé Marius Jensen, with the happy couple welcoming their second child in 2021.

David Spinx – Keith Miller

David Spinx played father Keith Miller in EastEnders
David Spinx played father Keith Miller in EastEnders

David Spinx played father Keith Miller on EastEnders, five years after he first appeared on the soap as Steve Owen’s cellmate Sharkey in 1999.

While in the place, Keith was devastated when his wife Rosie cheated on him, before the pair decided to reconcile when he proposed.

Their happiness was short-lived, however, as Rosie abandoned Keith at the altar and in 2008 the character was written out of the show.

Since leaving the soap, David has gone on to star in television programs including Casualty, Doctors and most recently the movie South of the River.

He also showcases his flair for art on Twitter, sharing photos of his creations, including paintings.

Charlie G Hawkins – Darren Miller

Charlie G Hawkins played the youngest member of the Miller family, Darren
Charlie G Hawkins played the youngest member of the Miller family, Darren

Charlie Hawkins played Demi’s twin, Darren, with the character involved in storylines such as being revealed as the father of Heather Trott’s baby George.

Unlike the other members of the Miller family, Darren was not written out of the show, staying on for seven years until actor Charlie Hawkins announced he was leaving the show.

Speaking about his time at EastEnders, he told the Mirror: “I have enjoyed my time at EastEnders immensely, it has been an amazing chapter in my life and I loved every minute of it.

“I’ve had tremendous support throughout my time on the show and I want to thank Bryan and the entire team for believing in me.”

Charlie Hawkins has since walked away from the showbiz world
Charlie Hawkins has since walked away from the showbiz world

However, he has since revealed that he struggled with the fame the soap opera brought him, telling the Distinct Nostalgia podcast: “I struggled to manage the profile of the show and went from that cheeky chappy who was really trusting someone who wanted to be at the back of the room.

“EastEnders really helped me in all avenues of life. The one thing he couldn’t handle me for was the feeling of fame.”

He has since stepped away from the spotlight, with his last acting role listed as Miles Stones in a 2014 episode of Casualty.

Gerry Cowper – Rosie Miller

Gerry Cowper played Rosie Miller in EastEnders
Gerry Cowper played Rosie Miller in EastEnders

Like David Spinx, Gerry Cowper had also appeared in EastEnders in another role, before landing the role of mother Rosie Miller.

While in the square, Rosie was embroiled in arguments with Pauline Fowler, an affair with her ex and Keith Miller at the altar, before moving to the Cotswolds in 2008.

Gerry was already a big star before appearing in EastEnders, having landed leading roles in The Wicker Man, Yes Minister and The Bill.

Since then she has also appeared in various roles in Casualty and Law and Order: UK.

In her personal life, Gerry was married to Mark Foley from 1998 to 2006 and they had one child together.

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