Friday, February 23, 2024

James Norton looks downcast at the WhatsOnStage awards as he is seen for the first time since he split from ex fiancée Imogen Poots

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James Norton looked downcast as he made his first public appearance on Sunday since he split from his ex fiancée Imogen Poots.

The Happy Valley star, 38, posed on the red carpet as he arrived to the WhatsOnStage awards solo.

James looked incredibly dapper in an oversized black suit, while donning a casual white T-shirt and polished black shoes.

Despite his heartbreak, James did his best to smile as he posed on the carpet before heading into the ceremony. 

His outing comes shortly after his split from Imogen, 34, was announced earlier this week – as the couple called time on their six-year relationship.

James Norton looked downcast as he made his first public appearance on Sunday since he split from his ex fiancée Imogen Poots

His outing comes shortly after his split from Imogen, 34, was announced earlier this week - as the couple called time on their six-year relationship

His outing comes shortly after his split from Imogen, 34, was announced earlier this week – as the couple called time on their six-year relationship

It recently emerged that Imogen tried to keep her heartbreaking split from fiancé James a secret.

The actress and actor decided to end their six-year relationship before Christmas after ‘growing apart’. 

But the pair decided to quietly part ways, with a source close to the pair telling MailOnline: ‘Imogen, for whatever reason, didn’t want people to know.’ 

The ‘free-spirited’ actress previously spoke about how she ‘wasn’t ready to slow down’ as she wanted to travel the world, while James has been open with his hopes of wanting a family. He said in 2021 ‘my broody barometer is kicking off’.  

Imogen split her time between New York and London, but said: ‘I have never known anything to fall apart due to distance’. 

She told The Evening Standard back in 2020: ‘It’s all I’ve ever known. I find work to be my happy place, in a way. Because it’s all I’ve ever known: packing up a bag and moving on.

‘That restlessness that’s inherent in you is very addictive. And I suppose now I’m supposed to slow down and set up a farm or something. But I’m not ready to do that. I want to keep exploring the world.’ 

James previously said his 2020 film, Nowhere Special, in which he played the dying father of a three-year-old boy, kicked off his ‘broody barometer’ and he was keen to become a dad.

The Happy Valley star posed on the red carpet as he arrived to the WhatsOnStage awards solo

The Happy Valley star posed on the red carpet as he arrived to the WhatsOnStage awards solo

Despite his heartbreak, James did his best to smile as he posed on the carpet before heading into the ceremony

Despite his heartbreak, James did his best to smile as he posed on the carpet before heading into the ceremony

James looked incredibly dapper in an oversized black suit, while donning a casual white T-shirt and polished black shoes

James looked incredibly dapper in an oversized black suit, while donning a casual white T-shirt and polished black shoes

James posed on the red carpet with It's A Sin star Omari Douglas, 29, before they headed into the ceremony

James posed on the red carpet with It’s A Sin star Omari Douglas, 29, before they headed into the ceremony

Luke Thompson, Zach Wyatt, Omari Douglas and James (L-R) beamed for a photo together

Luke Thompson, Zach Wyatt, Omari Douglas and James (L-R) beamed for a photo together

Nathalie Armin, Omari Douglas, James and Emilio Doorgasingh (L-R) were full of smiles

Nathalie Armin, Omari Douglas, James and Emilio Doorgasingh (L-R) were full of smiles

He told The Guardian in 2021: ‘I’m mid-30s, I’ve always wanted a family, my sister has kids, my broody barometer is kicking off anyway.’

In an interview last year to promote the Happy Valley finale, James said of his busy acting life: ‘It comes as a cost because you don’t see each other a lot, but we are willing to pay that for the benefit of having someone in your life close to you who gets it, who is forgiving, who will give up their Sunday to do an annoying self-tape (audition).’

Both have been working almost constantly, with James filming the Bob Marley biopic One Love which premiered in Los Angeles and London this week.

He plays Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Imogen spent time in New Mexico in 2022 making the drama Outer Range. 

‘James and Imogen have extremely busy work lives and it has made it difficult for them to see each other,’ a source told The Sun.

‘They grew apart and split up last year. It hasn’t been easy for either of them but they are keeping their heads down and getting on with things.’

The couple’s romance began in December 2017 a few months after James split from Irish singer and actress Jessie Buckley, 34 – who he was with for two years. 

It recently emerged that Imogen tried to keep her heartbreaking split from fiancé James a secret (pictured February last year)

It recently emerged that Imogen tried to keep her heartbreaking split from fiancé James a secret (pictured February last year)

The 'free-spirited' actress previously spoke about how she split her time between New York and London (pictured with James in NYC in 2021)

The ‘free-spirited’ actress previously spoke about how she split her time between New York and London (pictured with James in NYC in 2021) 

Both have been working almost constantly, with James filming the Bob Marley biopic One Love which premiered in Los Angeles and London this week

Both have been working almost constantly, with James filming the Bob Marley biopic One Love which premiered in Los Angeles and London this week

Imogen spent time in New Mexico in 2022 making the drama Outer Range (pictured in New Mexico)

Imogen spent time in New Mexico in 2022 making the drama Outer Range (pictured in New Mexico) 

James previously said his 2020 film, Nowhere Special, in which he played the dying father of a three-year-old boy, kicked off his 'broody barometer'

James previously said his 2020 film, Nowhere Special, in which he played the dying father of a three-year-old boy, kicked off his ‘broody barometer’

The pair also appear to have unfollowed each other on social media, and Imogen is not among those liking any of Norton's recent Instagram posts about the film

James isn't following Imogen on Instagram

The pair also appear to have unfollowed each other on social media

In an interview last year to promote the Happy Valley finale he said of his busy acting life: 'It comes as a cost because you don't see each other a lot' (James pictured in the show)

In an interview last year to promote the Happy Valley finale he said of his busy acting life: ‘It comes as a cost because you don’t see each other a lot’ (James pictured in the show)

They got together after meeting during a run of the play Belleville at the Donmar Warehouse in 2017.  

In 2020, Imogen – who starred in The Father with Anthony Hopkins – moved into James’s London pad, before setting up home together. 

They got engaged in February 2022 after five years of dating. 

Imogen was last seen with James after the opening night of A Little Life, an adaptation of the Hanya Yanagihara novel, in March 2023.

However there has been no sign of her at any of the One Love premieres, in Jamaica, LA or London. 

The pair also appear to have unfollowed each other on social media, and Imogen is not among those liking any of Norton’s recent Instagram posts about the film. 

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