Shaun Williamson’s secret son has revealed that he was already a huge fan of his father’s before knowing they were related.
Writing in his dad’s new book, 32-year-old Gary explained how he had ‘admired’ the actor for years after watching him star in Ricky Gervais’ sitcom Extras.
EastEnders icon Shaun, 54, connected with his eldest child, who was living in Northern Ireland, in 2013 after being sent an email, reports The Sun.
Father and son: Shaun Williamson’s secret child has revealed that he was already a huge fan of his dad’s before knowing they were related (pictured together in 2018)
Gary has now revealed more details about their reunion, saying in book A Matter of Facts: ‘My dad was in fact Shaun Williamson, an actor that I had admired for years, not from EastEnders but from the sitcom Extras.
‘Me and my mates had even planned to go and see him when he was in a show at the Belfast Opera House some years before, so that we could meet him afterwards. How weird would that have been?’
On Saturday it was revealed how Shaun – who played Barry in EastEnders for a decade before being killed off in 2004 – fathered Gary with a circus juggler more than 30 years ago.
The actor, who also has a daughter Sophie, 22, and son Joseph, 20 with ex-wife Melanie Sacre, said the revelation was ‘the most frightening but amazing discovery’.
Acting star: Gary said he already ‘admired’ his dad (middle) after watching him in sitcom Extras alongside Ricky Gervais (right) and Stephen Merchant (left)
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.
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’.
Family: Shaun connected with his eldest child, who was living in Northern Ireland, in 2013 after Gary sent him an email (the actor is pictured in September 2019)
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.
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.
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