EastEnders icon Shaun Williamson has shed light on his relationship with his secret son, who revealed he loved the show before finding out his father’s identity.
Speaking to The Sun On Sunday, the father-son duo admitted they were making up for lost time after it was revealed in September that Shaun had fathered the child with a circus juggler more than 30 years ago.
The star, 55, who played Barry Evans in the soap, said: ‘I know I’ve missed out on a lot of his life — now I can make up for it’, while Gary revealed he had been misled over the identity of his father until recently.
Sweet: EastEnders icon Shaun Williamson has shed light on his relationship with his secret son, who revealed he loved the show before finding out his father’s identity
Shaun, who has a daughter Sophie, 22, and son Joseph, 20 with ex-wife Melanie Sacre, gushed over his delight at forging a bond with Gary.
Gary said: ‘My nan used to tell me I loved EastEnders as a boy. One of my favourites was Barry. Nan always told me his storylines had me hooked and made me laugh…
‘For years I thought someone else was my dad, but some information from my mum and a paternity test revealed that it was in fact the bloke I used to watch on the TV all those years ago…
‘I tell people I meet that ‘Barry from EastEnders is my dad’ — they never believe me, but it’s true. The guy I thought was my father left when I was six, but to now have the relationship I do with Shaun is a dream. It’s proof that miracles do happen.’
Sweet: Shaun has daughter Sophie, 22, and son Joseph, 20 with ex-wife Melanie Sacre and has now forged a bond with Gary
Gary went as far as revealing that he had once attempted to meet Shaun at a meet and greet however he had not managed to reach out.
Shaun, who lives on The Isle of Sheppey, confessed he was concerned for his other kids, as he said: ‘My first concern was that my other adult kids Sophie and Joe were OK. But they were absolutely great with it.’
Last year, Shaun detailed how he received an email in 2013 from Gary living in Northern Ireland who claimed to be his son. He told how the revelation was ‘the most frightening but amazing discovery’.
Iconic: Shaun became a household name thanks to his role as Barry Evans on EastEnders, his character was dramatically killed off (pictured) by the evil Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) in 2004 after ten years on the soap
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Shaun said: ‘When I found out I had another son, I was stunned. I was shaking when I went to meet him.’
The actor added: ‘He said he never thought in a million years that Barry from EastEnders could be his dad.’
The Celebrity Big Brother star told how he met Gary’s mother, who remains anonymous, when he was working as a barman in 1987 aged 22.
Family: Gary went as far as revealing that he had once attempted to meet Shaun at a meet and greet however he had not managed to reach out
Shaun described how he was ‘blown away’ by the circus juggler and the pair went onto get engaged after six months despite having a ‘fiery relationship’.
The star ended the relationship as he took up a job as a Pontin’s Bluecoat before he was told by his ex-fianceé that she was pregnant.
However she later explained to her ex Shaun that her landlord’s son was in fact the father and his name would be on the birth certificate.
Past: Shaun described how he was ‘blown away’ by the circus juggler and the pair went onto get engaged after six months despite having a ‘fiery relationship’
In 2013 the former postman received an email out-of-the-blue stating it was ‘Gary’ from his ‘circus days’.
The Extras star sent a paternity test to a centre in Canada which confirmed that he was his biological son with Shaun describing how it all ‘fell into place’.
Shaun met his long-lost son Gary in a hotel in Belfast and described how the pair ‘hit it off’ from the start.
Bye Barry! Shaun became the eighth housemate to be evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother House in 2017
He said: ‘It was a surreal experience. I could immediately see the similarity. We hit it off straight away.’
Shaun became a household name thanks to his role as Barry Evans on EastEnders from 1994 until 2004. His character was dramatically killed off by the evil Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks).
The actor has gone on to appear on the likes of current programme Mister Winner, Ricky Gervais’ Extras and Scoop.
While in 2017, he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and joked as he entered the house that he would have ‘Barry from EastEnders’ written on his gravestone.