Main content

Sam James

Charismatic and sexy, Sam is a genuine charmer.

Fact title Fact data
First appearance:
14th May 2013
Last appearance:
16th December 2013

Sam was genuinely in love with Ava when Dexter came along. He quickly made an honest woman out of her, and for a few months, everything was perfect. He tried his best to do the family thing, showered Ava and Dexter with love, settled down to a happy domestic life, just the three of them. But Sam couldn't cope with the mundane nature of everyday life. So when it all got too much, Sam went out for a pint of milk... and just kept walking.

Sam never intended to leave for good. He just wanted a break. But the further away he got, the less appealing that domestic life became. And soon the weeks turned to months. Sam sent Ava a post card saying ‘sorry’, walked away from family life, divorced Ava and never looked back. He created a new life for himself, running bars in various exotic locations, not letting his diabetes affect his life, reinventing himself as a single man with his whole future ahead of him, never staying in one place very long. Of course there have been women. Many women. But no one ever came close to matching the deep connection Sam shared with Ava.

Now, 20 years on, Sam's suddenly found himself at a crossroads. Visiting his dying father, Sam found himself face to face with an old and bitter man, a man who’d ended up alone and lonely, who’d never committed to anything, and whose life had amounted to nothing as a result. It scared Sam. And when his Dad died, Sam realised he had a choice – to keep drifting, or to make a change. He started wondering about the family he’d missed out on, about the life he’d cut himself off from, wanting to meet and get to know the young man he created. So Sam arrives in Walford, still as charming, sexy and intense as the last time Ava saw him.

Since coming on The Square though, things have taken a turn for the worst. Suffering from diabetes, Sam collapsed on the pavement, and it was revealed that he needed a kidney transplant - and fast. With a lack of donors, his only hope is to find a family member who's a match. With Ava recieveing negative test results, all hope rested on Dexter, who much to the discontent of both Sam and Ava, was a match. Although Sam tries to convince Dexter not to donate his kidney, he knows that it may be his only hope, and so is visably torn by the situation.

But they all agreed to allow Dexter go through with it, a decision they may now all regret as Dexter lost consciousness shortly after the operation. Luckily both Dexter and Sam made a full recovery after the transplant and began to build on their relationship.

Cornell S. John

  • Cornell has previously appeared in Holby City, Casualty, Doctors, Inside Men, Top Boy and Rastamouse!
  • He has also starred in Kidulthood and Adulthood.
  • On being cast in the role of Sam, Cornell has said, "It's a great honour and pleasure to be joining the EastEnders family. I look forward to working with the cast and Sam's adventures on The Square... doof doof!"