EastEnders star John Partridge details ‘debilitating pain’ that left him unable to speak

EastEnders legend John Partridge has opened up about the “debilitating pain” he suffered after undergoing surgery on his vocal cords.

John, 52, spoke to Sunday Brunch about a surgery he was forced to undergo on his vocal cords.

The actor, who starred as Christian Clarke on the long running soap for eight years, discovered he had a number of cysts in his throat during the pandemic.

John, who recently made a surprise appearance on Netflix documentary series Cleopatra, opted to go under the knife, despite the fact that “it wasn’t guaranteed that I’d ever be able to sing or speak really again.”

He admitted that he sees singing as his “seventh sense” and was devastated when the op meant that he “wasn’t able to speak at all for nine months.”

“For me, it was like losing my sight or losing my hearing. I sing when I feel good, when I feel down, I sing without even knowing when you’re driving along in the car. It was a really debilitating thing,” the star added, explaining that he had healed “really badly.”

John said that, because one of his tumours was historic, his body struggled to cope when it was removed, making the process of recovery especially tricky.

However, the actor has since been given the all clear from doctors.

“I just got my all-clear last week from Guy’s Hospital that I’m fully fit, fighting fit and ready to go,” John happily told Sunday Brunch hosts Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy.

John added that the surgery had ended up changing his voice entirely.

He said that, when Doctors realised he was struggling after his initial surgery, “I had what they call a glottoplasty.”

“This is what happens when you go from male to female transition, it’s kind of the female vocal feminisation process where they slightly shave away your vocal chord to raise the pitch of your voice. So my left chord they slightly shaved that away so I got myself a couple more notes at the top,” he said, before adding that he now has the voice he “should have” had when he was younger.

John is currently starring in his first singing gig since 2019.

The EastEnders alum is playing Hugo in the hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, as it departs the West End to embark on a UK wide tour.

He’ll be putting his new vocal cords to the test as he performs in major cities including Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle alongside the likes of TV presenter Giovanna Fletcher, who recently won acclaim for her work with Kate Middleton, and former X Factor winner Sam Bailey.

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