EastEnders Callum actor’s drastically different love life and awkward kissing scenes

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it's fair to say Callum Highway's love life has been drastically different to that of actor Tony Clay.

The EastEnders star first burst onto our screens as Halfway on New Year's Day when he unintentionally shot Mick Carter out the back of a van.

The actor is a man of many talents, using his stand-up comedy skills in his role as loveable fool Callum, but his storylines have become increasingly more powerful.

Callum went on to have a relationship with Whitney Dean, but was confused by his sexuality and had a shock affair with Ben Mitchell before being jilted at the alter.

It's a far less dramatic tale in real life, as actor Tony Clay has been together with his stunning girlfriend Olivia Griffin since August 2016.

Despite Tony's busy EastEnders schedule, Tony and Olivia spend a lot of time together on cute dates and romantic holidays across the world.

Tony Clay with his girlfriend Olivia Griffin
(Image: tonyclay1/Instagram)

The actor frequently uploads snaps of the pair together and regular pays tribute to his girlfriend, once stating: "I love you more than words! Happy Valentine’s Day my girl"

The loved-up pair certainly look smitten and haven't had anywhere near as much trouble in their relationship as Ben and Callum.

EastEnders viewers have gone wild for the pair, who they have affectionately dubbed Ballum, ever since their first secret kiss in the moonlight.

It looked amazing on screen, but the actor suffered a bit of an awkward issue while filming the passionate scenes with Max Bowden.

"We’ve got solid stubble going on and obviously when you’ve sort of got to film stuff for late nights until half 11/12 in a park, it's very cold," said Tony in August 2019.

"Naturally there’s only so much Carmex that you can use! So you do get a bit of beard rash after."

The couple looked very loved-up on Instagram
(Image: tonyclay1/Instagram)

EastEnders boss Kate Oates revealed the pair spent three hours kissing to get the perfect take.

"They earned that money that night," said Kate. "We were so excited about seeing that kiss being shot, we’d been story lining it for ages.

"I think you guys started kissing at about half past 7 and at about half past 10 they were still going at it, like the pros that they are! Each take just felt so real and so engaging."

Few expected sweet-natured Callum to couple up with wannabe gangster Ben but they have made for a surprisingly good match.

Tony added: "They’re kids both from troubled backgrounds in their own sort of way, they’ve both taken very different paths. Now they’ve met at the right age, the right sort of time and I think the right moment in their lives.

"It’s such a joy to work with Max and have the sort of dynamic between the characters. They are so different – they are worlds apart on many things, but equally there’s that thing that they come back from."

Ballum kissing scenes have come with some awkward issues
(Image: BBC)

Tony's life was drastically changed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Not only was filming postponed on the EastEnders set, but he had a difficult in lockdown after his father was hospitalised for two months with coronavirus.

In May, Tony praised the NHS after his dad was put on a ventilator for four weeks after contracting covid-19.

He tweeted: "After 4 weeks on a ventilator in intensive care, a tracheostomy & a 9 week stay in 3 different hospitals, today my Dad is finally home!!

"THANK YOU NHS!!! You are true angels & I love you all. So much love to anyone going through this right now. There is hope."

Tony opened on on his dad's ordeal on Secrets From The Square back in July last year, admitting it had been a "bit of a strange time".

Tony spoke about his dad's coronavirus ordeal
(Image: tonyclay1/Instagram)

"My dad was hospitalised with the coronavirus," he said. "And for two months in three different hospitals, yeah it was a hard, hard time.

"On my dad, on my family, on everyone as a nation going through this."

When asked if his dad was on the mend, Tony added: "Yes," he confirmed. He's finally home so I'm very, very happy and a bit overwhelmed with it all."

Tony is currently at the centre of a dark storyline as his character struggles after a terrifying stabbing.

Callum faced danger during a chase with a thief and his fellow police officer Fitzy was left fighting for his live after being attacked.

He screamed out for his colleague to watch out as the criminal approached him from the side holding the knife, but it was too late.

Callum struggles to cope after the stabbing
(Image: BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

Fitzy, who was getting ready to propose to his girlfriend that evening, clutched his stomach and fell to the floor in agony.

Callum looked fearful not only for his own life, but that of his friend who was in pain on the ground and bleeding out.

Monday's episode ended on a cliffhanger, leaving viewers worried about what will happen next to both characters.

As the week goes on, DCI Arthurs checks in on Callum but he’s distraught and blaming himself for what happened.

Once he's back at home Callum doesn’t want to talk to Ben and their anniversary is ruined.

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By Thursday, Callum is still in a weird mood and snaps at Ben, but insists he’s fine – despite being anything but.

Later that day, Whitney and Kat are speaking in The Vic but Callum clams up when they ask about the stabbing.

Whitney realises something is wrong, but will she just assume that Callum is feeling guilty about not preventing the attack?

Or is there something that he's keeping from her about the stabbing?

*EastEnders airs Mondays and Fridays at 8pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One.

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