James Bye returned to EastEnders 4 days after son's birth

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James Bye as Martin Fowler

James Bye as Martin Fowler

EastEnders' James Bye returned to the soap four days after his second son was born because he'd already had most of his paternity leave by the time the tot arrived.

James Bye returned to 'EastEnders' just four days after the birth of his second son.

The 32-year-old actor - who portrays Martin Fowler in the soap - and wife Victoria were due to welcome their second child Louis into the world on February 28, but the youngster wasn't born until March 9, meaning James had already had most of his paternity leave by the time the tot arrived.

Victoria - who also has two-year-old Edward with her spouse - said: "I was desperate for him to come by the end as James' paternity leave had already begun and I was starting to get so uncomfortable."

James added: "It was really tough. I hated leaving Louis, Edward and Victoria."

But James took comfort in spending time with the baby who plays on-screen tiny tot Arthur, whom his alter ego thought was his son but turned out to actually be his friend Kush Kazemi's (Davood Ghadam) in the long-running BBC One soap.

He said: "Baby Arthur is almost the same size as Louis and he's not dissimilar looking.

"It's been lovely - on really busy weeks when I've not been able to see as much of Edward and Louis as I've liked to, having a baby at work to cuddle is such a comfort.

"It makes me miss them more, but it is a comfort. I often get home after Edward has gone to bed, which is tough, but I always go up and check on him."

And the actor is thankful everyone on the show has been so supportive as he struggles with the demands of having a newborn in the house.

He told OK! magazine: "[They are] incredibly supportive. They're always checking if I'm getting enough sleep and coping. They've been so understanding. I'm lucky."

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