If you were a viewer of Eastenders back in the 1990s, you’re bound to remember the Italian Di Marco family who brought a great deal of entertainment to our screens and were once claimed to be a “family that would rival the Mitchells”.
The family consisted of Rosa and her children Beppe, Gianni, Teresa and Nicky; their grandparents, Bruno and Luisa and not forgetting Beppe’s son, Joe.
The Di Marco’s left the square in 2000 after producers gave most of the clan the axe, however, Beppe and Joe remained on the square for another two years, but fled when discovering the news that Rosa had passed away suddenly.
A source told The Mirror back in the early noughties: “It’s always unpleasant having to say goodbye to people who have given loyal service to the show for a number of years. But John Yorke feels it’s time to make his mark on the show. Every new producer likes to do the same. John wants to introduce a new family later this year and felt the Di Marco’s had nowhere else to go.”
As it’s been 16 years since we last saw the Di Marco family, what are they up to now?
Beppe Di Marco (Michael Greco)
After exiting the square in 2002, Micheal has tried his hand at a wide range of acting opportunities, which have included a selection of roles within TV and theatre.
Last year, Micheal made a guest appearance on Holby City playing the role of Phil Paterson. In a tweet at the time, the actor wrote: “Am delighted to be joining the cast of @BBCCasualty. Such an amazing show that’s maintained such incredibly high standards.”
However, the 46-year-old has decided to put his acting career on the back burner after making his name as a professional poker player and now tours the world to participate in tournaments. Living in LA for a number of years, Micheal has recently decided to move back to the UK.
There’s nothing to say that Beppe won’t return to the square though and there were rumours circulating back in 2016 that he may be returning in the near future, however, Micheal denied such claims but confesses he will always be open to the opportunity, should it arise.
In an interview with The Sun in 2016, Micheal went on to say: “I’d never shut that door. If the offer was there, you’d have to consider it. I’ve been in LA off and on for the last 10 years and I don’t watch much telly, so I haven’t caught up with EastEnders for a long time.”
Gianni di Marco (Marc Bannerman)
Despite the fact that Gianni only appeared in the soap for two years between 1998-2000, he certainly became a firm-favourite character with viewers.
Marc’s career turned rather stale when his stint in Walford came to an end and reportedly suffered from depression after discovering that he had been axed from the show. In 2005, Marc discussed how the few years that followed were some of the darkest of his life: “I just didn’t know what was happening to me. The axeing came like a bolt out of the blue and it hit me very badly. I suffered depression and turned to the bottle to get me out of it…I remember feeling very bitter, especially at the way they got rid of us. There was no warning – we were just out”
Yet, Marc’s profile plummeted into the spotlight when he appeared on I’m A Celebrity in 2007, but not in the most positive light. He caused a great deal of controversy after having a brief ‘flirtationship’ with singer and fellow campmate Cerys Matthews, despite already having a girlfriend on the outside. Naturally, his girlfriend dumped him upon his eviction for his unruly behaviour.
At the time of the break-up, his girlfriend Sarah Matravers told the Daily Mail:
was shouting at him, ‘Are you in love with Cerys? Yes or no, yes or no?’
“He couldn’t seem to answer. He just said, ‘I don’t know’ and ‘Sorry’ over and over again. He didn’t really make anything clearer to me, I’m absolutely devastated. He tried to defend himself saying he didn’t do anything ‘overly physical’ with Cerys. But to see him saying he was in love with her on TV, that’s heartbreaking.
“I told him it was over. I said if he can’t make a decision, then I’ll make a decision for him. That’s it. He didn’t say much.”
Marc’s most recent acting credit was in the 2014 film ‘No Reasons’.
Rosa di Marco (Louise Jameson)
Mother of the family Rosa was axed by BBC bosses alongside the other members of the Di Marco’s after just two years on the square in 2000.
Over the years, Louise Jameson has had credits in a number of other successful series including the likes of Doctors, The Bill and Holby City. She later went on to become a regular character in the ITV series Doc Martin.
In 2007, she decided to go on a one-woman tour entitled ‘Face Value’ which was inspired by her own decision to go under the knife for a facelift, while her most recent acting credit was in the UK tour of Agatha Christie’s The Mouse Trap.
Unfortunately, the character of Rosa will never return to Walford as it was said that she had passed away from a heart attack in 2002.
Teresa di Marco (Leila Birch)
Teresa was definitely the rebel of the family, however, since leaving the soap in 2000, viewers have also been left wondering whether she will eventually make a return. The door is definitely still open for her, so who knows…
Getting involved in murders and affairs, Nicky eventually left the soap in 2000 – the first of the Di Marco clan to leave the square, the rest of the family were soon to follow as they faced the axe from BBC bosses.
These days though, Leila is aiming to make her name in America and has been a US resident since 2012. One of her most notable credits includes voiceover work for the film Mr. Peabody and Sherman in 2014; however, she has also been involved in a number of stage productions over the years which include the likes of Shakespeare and pantomime.
According to her Twitter page, Leila has now replaced much of her acting work with voiceover work; especially for the world of gaming. In her bio, it claims she has used her voice in games such as Dying Light and Uncharted 4.
Gaming seems to be one of Leila’s hobbies, as well as part of her career as she has set up her very own Youtube channel named ‘GirlfriendVS’ with her boyfriend which shows her playing video games for the very first time.
Some of her gaming tweets include:
“It’s a wrap on @GirlfriendVs season two! #RetroGaming #GFVS #Sega #Nintendo #GreenScreen #GamersUnite”
‘The Standoff’ was in its 1st #FilmFestival! Thanks @DionaReasonover for putting me in your fab movie! #CinemaDiverse”
Since leaving the soap back in 2000, Leila has since moved to America – LA to be premise and is truly living the high-life. Her boyfriend is also none other than US actor, Curtiss Frisle.
Nicky di Marco (Carly Hillman)
Nicky was the youngest daughter of the Di Marco’s and was axed back in 2000 alongside the rest of the family.
Her exit storyline involved a sexual abuse case, in which her tutor, Rod Morris was said to have abused her. With her family failing to believe what had happened, Nicky decided to walk away from the square.
After leaving the soap 18 years ago, Carly made a number of brief TV appearances, both in acting roles and in reality shows such as Soapstar Superchef, All Star Talent Show and Celebrity Britain’s Best Dish.
A complete contrast to her Eastenders role, Nicky went on to become a part of the RJ Williamson Shakespeare Company aswell as appearing in a number of other plays which has included ’15 Minutes’ at the New Vic and Daisy Pulls it Off.
After leaving Eastenders, Carly soon realised that she would rather make a career in music and decided to give her acting career a short break in 2009 to begin a family. Married to Ben Probert, the pair have two daughters together.
In 2003, Carly joined a girl band named Urban Lady, in which they released their hit single ‘Mutual’. But most recently. Carly has decided to go solo with her singing career and can be hired to perform at a number of occasions and events. She performs a whole range of hits which cover a number of genres including pop music, R&B, soul, disco, or ballads.
You can catch Carly performing at bars and clubs, and can even be booked for private events such as weddings. She also owns her very own stage school known as ‘Act One Stage School’ located in Romford, Essex.
Catch EastEnders weekdays on BBC1.