EastEnders Keegan stars life – Marvin Humes connection to co-star romance claim

Zack Morris is best known for playing cheeky chappy turned businessman Keegan Baker in the BBC One soap EastEnders.

In new scenes, Keegan will be attacked in a vicious assault after trying to stop Tiffany getting close to Aaron.

The Walford resident has been a permanent fixture in the soap since he joined back in 2017, when he was just 17 himself.

Since playing the role of Keegan, Zack has acted in some nitty gritty storylines.

He entered the soap as the school bully, getting involved in a stabbing, becoming a troubled teen and then straightening out his life and getting married to Tiffany Butcher.

Keegan recently had an affair with troubled Dotty, and Tiff was addicted to cosmetic procedures which led to her being rushed to hospital.

But what about the life and times of the man who plays Keegan?

Daily Star takes a look back at Zack's life away from the soap – from name confusion, secret celebrity connections and romance rumours – here's everything you need to know about the man behind Walford's entrepreneur.

Growing up in Essex

Keegan actor Zack is originally from Brentwood in Essex, and grew up wanting to be an actor after developing a love for it at six

His love for acting was spurred on after seeing a local production with his mum and great-grandfather.

Soon after his interest in acting piqued, he started acting classes – and the rest, as they say, is history!

Secret connection to Marvin Humes

Marvin Humes, from the boyband JLS, spotted Zack and his talent, and decided to select him for a special scholarship.

The singer, who is married to Rochelle from The Saturdays ,selected Zack to have an acting school scholarship at the D&B Academy of Performing Arts in Bromley, Kent.

Speaking to What’s On TV, Zack said: “Marvin Humes went there [referring to the Bromley academy].

“He’s got a scholarship, which I’ve got. He picks one person every year to fund, and he funds me.”

Zack continued to say: “He’s really nice, and comes in a couple of times a year to have a chat with me. He’s been really supportive.”

The actor and Marvin can often be seen tagging each other on social media posts, with the pair clearly having formed a close bond.

In May 2019, Marvin posted a photo to his Facebook page of him and Zack, coincidentally wearing very similar outfits.

Marvin captioned the photo: "Bumped into my brother Zack Morris on This Morning today..I think we both got the memo! I remember the days when I could grow hair on my head like that! Make sure you vote for him for best actor at the British Soap Awards!"

Later that year in October, Marvin attended Zack's 21st birthday bash, which could be seen in a snap posted onto the EastEnders' star's Instagram account.

Career before moving to Albert Square

Before arriving in Albert Square, Zack performed on the West End.

When he was younger, he acted in productions of Joseph and The Technicolour Dreamcoat, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Oliver!

EastEnders is his first major acting job, but he had tried his hand at advert acting prior.

Zack auditioned for EastEnders in 2016 but for a month, he heard nothing from the producers, so thought that he was unsuccessful.

It has been reported that he said: "When I had my original audition, I didn't hear anything back for quite a while, so I actually assumed that I didn't get it.

“But after a few more weeks, I heard that I had another audition and it all worked out from there."

Since getting the role of Keegan, Zack has starred in EastEnders constantly.

Keegan Kayden Butcher-Baker is the son of Karen Taylor and Mitch Baker.

He has a lot of sibling too and is the brother of Chantelle and Bailey Baker as well as Keanu, Bernadette, Chatham, and Riley Taylor.

Starting out as the school bully, before growing as a character and proving that change is possible, Keegan is now married to Tiffany Butcher and owns his own successful business in the soap.

Shared name confusion

22-year-old Zack shares his name with the lead character from Saved By The Bell, which has caused some confusion in the past.

When you Google 'Zack Morris' you'll likely be met with information on the actor from Saved By The Bell, but Zack from EastEnders says it's just a funny coincidence.

Speaking to Digital Spy, he shared: "I've definitely had Saved By The Bell mentioned to me a lot in the past. And even if you Google my name, Saved By The Bell comes up.

“That's one thing when I got this job – I thought, 'Hopefully when you Google my name, I'm going to come up… not the geezer from Saved By The Bell in the 90s!

"I spoke to my mum about it because I thought she named me after the character, but she didn't even know who the character was! It's literally just a coincidence."

Keegan's troubled storylines

Zack has gone through a lot in the soap.

His character, Keegan, was stabbed a couple of years back along with his best friend Shakil Kazemi.

Keegan survived the brutal stabbing, but his best friend Shakil sadly died.

The tragic incident left Keegan grieving and led him to go off the rails a little.

More recently Keegan has had an affair in the soap, which could leave his marriage on the rocks.

After becoming frustrated that his wife Tiffany was getting hooked on cosmetic procedures, he became close to Dotty and ended up sleeping with her in a heat of the moment mistake.

Dotty lives with both Keegan and Tiffany, so things have become a little awkward.

But will Tiffany find out about what her husband has been up to? And if she does, what will she do?

Love life and dating rumours

In 2020 Zack denied that he and his on-screen wife Maisie Smith were dating.

He revealed that he was anything more than friends with Maisie after the pair were spotted leaving the EastEnders 35th anniversary party together.

Maisie and Zack are married in the BBC soap opera, and were spotted one night getting into the same cab – this led to rumours that they went home together and speculation surrounding their relationship grew.

Zack denied the rumours, explaining that he is just great friends with the stunning EastEnders co-star.

"The majority of our filming days are spent together so we have grown closer as friends but nothing more than that," he said.

Maisie spoke to MailOnline about the rumours, where she said: "I film most of my scenes with Zack, naturally we've built a great friendship. Nothing but mates."

Zack was also linked to Brooke Maskell, a hair and make-up artist from Hertfordshire in 2019, but they haven't been linked since.

EastEnders exit rumours

On July 17, earlier this year, Zack took to Twitter to speak his goals into existence.

The tweet that hinted of Zack's goals sparked fear among EastEnders fans.

Zack's tweet read: "Just listened to the @1Xtra interview with @Reece_Parkinson and @LewisHamilton. First of all, what an inspiration to our generation. Secondly, I heard mention of a Lewis Hamilton film. Shall I just drop my agents details down below?"

EastEnders continues Thursday on BBC One at 7.35pm

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