Emmerdale star Ryan Hawley unrecognisable in first TV role since leaving soap

5 October 2021, 09:23

Ryan Hawley starred in Silent Witness
Ryan Hawley starred in Silent Witness. Picture: BBC/ITV

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Emmerdale fans will know Ryan Hawley for playing Robert Sugden from 2014 to 2019.

But in his first major TV role since leaving the ITV soap, Ryan, 36, appeared as a guest in BBC’s Silent Witness.

The actor played Michael Robson in the penultimate episode of series 24 called Matters of Life and Death.

And he certainly looks worlds away from his Emmerdale character, having grown his hair long for the part.

Ryan Hawley starred in Silent Witness this week
Ryan Hawley starred in Silent Witness this week. Picture: BBC

This comes after it was announced Ryan would be leaving the soap in June 2019 to pursue other projects.

At the time, an ITV source told The Sun: “Emmerdale fans have loved every minute of Robron’s story, and what Ryan has brought to playing Robert.

“But he has decided to take a break from the show for the foreseeable future and try other projects.”

He faced a very dramatic exit as his character was sent to prison for life for murdering Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie).

Lee Posner raped Robert’s sister Victoria (Isabel Hodgins), which resulted in her falling pregnant.

With Ryan’s emotional last scenes airing on 1 November, Robert had to say a tearful goodbye to husband Aaron (Danny Miller) after being sent to prison on the Isle of Wight.

He later filed for divorce to allow his partner to move on.

Ryan is the fourth actor to have starred as Robert Sugden, with the part previously being played by Richard Smith, Christopher Smith and Karl Davies.

Ryan Hawley played Robert Sugden in Emmerdale for five years
Ryan Hawley played Robert Sugden in Emmerdale for five years. Picture: Alamy

The actor earned himself a number of awards over his five years on the show, including Best Newcomer at the Inside Soap Awards in 2015, and two Best Actor awards at the TV Choice and TRIC Awards.

Ahead of his exit, Ryan said: "I will miss the show massively, it has been a huge part of my life for the last few years.

"I love working here, I love the people that I work with and it’s going to be very emotional leaving."

Away from the screens, Ryan married Daisy Prestes de Oliviera in 2013 and the couple welcomed their first baby back in March this year.