Martin Henderson took a break from the big time, to come home and appear in Shortland Street’s 25 Anniversary episode. 

Henderson, who now stars in the international hit drama, Grey’s Anatomy, hasn’t walked the halls of Shortland Street for 22 years.

He said he felt “like a bit of an alien,” being back. “It’s oddly familiar, but also there’s been so much water under the bridge, so many years.”

The filming location may have changed, and the cast and crew, but there are still some familiar faces.

Henderson’s character Stuart, was part of the original line-up from way back in 1992. 

He admits he didn’t think the show would last 25 years. Now though, he says “it’s become an institution in a way. It feels like it’s here to stay.”

Recalling his first day on set, Henderson says he was “terrified.”

He felt the pressure, being a part of something so new and unique in New Zealand at the time.

“If it wasn’t for Shortland Street, I don’t think I would have had a career as an actor,” he says.

Fresh out of high school, Henderson had planned to take a gap year before going on to university. However, he fell in love with acting and never looked back.

But he’s come home for this momentous occasion.

Family matters summon Stuart back to Ferndale, where he will inevitably be sucked into the drama.

Henderson is among a number of familiar faces from Shortland Street’s past, who will appear in tonight’s special anniversary special.  

Shortland Street’s 25th Anniversary Special airs tonight, from 7pm on TVNZ 2. Or stream it right here afterwards.