Who's leaving EastEnders? The latest cast changes

We round up the characters who are joining and leaving Walford.

Last updated: 28 March 2018 - 12.58pm

Deaths, break-ups, estranged family members. It can be hard to keep up with who’s coming and going in EastEnders.

So keep reading for a guide to who's joining and leaving the soap.

Returning

Halfway (Tony Clay)

Tony Clay as Halfway

Tony Clay will be reprising his role as Callum “Halfway” Highway later this spring when the character returns to the Square.

Charming yet hapless, Halfway first arrived back in January after being caught up in the New Year’s Day heist and inadvertently shooting Mick. A friend of the family, the Carters allowed him to stay at The Vic and their kindness soon turned to good fortune when he helped them to save their beloved pub.

During his time in The Vic, Halfway quickly fell for Whitney and despite her reservations, she soon realised her feelings for him. With Halfway called back to duty by the army, the couple have continued their long-distant relationship but what does Halfway’s return mean for their future?

Speaking of his return, Tony Clay said: “I’m really happy and excited to be back on EastEnders and working with such a brilliant cast and crew. Halfway is such a lovely role to play and I’m really looking forward to exploring his story further and seeing where it takes us.”

Tony Clay has returned to filming and will be on screen in the coming weeks.

Leaving

Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood)

Richard Blackwood as Vincent Hubbard

Richard Blackwood is departing from EastEnders after three years in the soap, it has been confirmed.

The actor has played Vincent Hubbard since February 2015 and will bid farewell to Albert Square in the spring.

Blackwood said it feels like the right time to leave, even though he will be “sad to say goodbye”.

A spokeswoman for EastEnders said in a statement: “We can confirm that Richard will be leaving EastEnders this spring.

“Richard has been a great addition to the show and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Blackwood added: “I have loved every minute of my time at EastEnders and although I will be sad to say goodbye, after three years it feels the right time to leave.

“I have been truly blessed with some great storylines since the moment I joined but when I was presented with my last story I knew it was time for Vincent to depart Walford.

“I’m now excited about what the future holds, I have a feature film out this year, I will be returning to theatre and also some great presenting TV gigs.”

Michelle Fowler (Jenna Russell)

Jenna Russell (Michelle Fowler in EastEnders)

The recasting of Michelle Fowler in 2016 hasn't proved popular with viewers and actress Jenna Russell and producer John Yorke have decided the time is right for to leave Albert Square again.

Since returning, Michelle was involved in storylines which saw her have an affair with her American student Preston and find herself stalked by an admirer on the tube

It is not known how she will leave, but she is not expected to be killed off.

Michelle Fowler was originally played by Susan Tully.

The show's producers insisted that Jenna Russell hadn't been axed, claiming that it was a "mutual decision" and that they wished her "all the best for the future.

Woody Woodward (Lee Ryan)

Lee Ryan  - Woody

EastEnders’ Lee Ryan will be leaving Albert Square, it has been announced. The actor and Blue singer, 34, who made his debut as barman Woody in April last year, will be leaving when his contract ends.

Ryan is currently not on-air on the BBC1 soap, while working on other projects. But an EastEnders’ source told the Press Association: “Woody will be back on-screen for a final storyline across several weeks but, as ever in soap, decisions have to be made when contracts are up for renewal.

“At this point, it was decided that Woody’s storyline will be coming to a natural end and viewers can find out how he departs this spring.”

A spokeswoman for the soap confirmed that Ryan “will be leaving EastEnders when his storyline concludes this spring”.

Meanwhile, Ryan told The Sun: “I cannot express enough gratitude to EastEnders for the opportunity they have given me. I’ve had a great time and loved every minute of it and I’m looking forward to my future projects.”

Johnny Cater (Ted Reilly)

Johnny Carter

EastEnders star Ted Reilly has said he will miss his “amazing” co-stars after announcing his plans to leave the soap.

The actor, 26, first arrived in Albert Square as Johnny Carter last year, stepping into the shoes of previous actor Sam Strike and winning viewers’ hearts with his romance with Ben Mitchell.

In a moving Twitter post, he told his fans that it had been a “really tough” but necessary decision.

He wrote: “Thank you for all your lovely messages regarding EE! It was a really tough decision to leave, but at this stage in my career it’s very important to keep being challenged & experience new things!

“I’ll miss the amazing people on the square especially my Carter clan!”

After being written out of the BBC One show, Reilly has now stopped filming and his exit will be aired early in the new year.

The broadcaster said in a statement: “We can confirm Ted has finished filming with EastEnders and wish him all the best for the future.”

Linda and Mick Carter? (Kellie Bright and Danny Dyer)

linda and mick carter

While rumours have been swirling for months that Danny Dyer will be leaving EastEnders at the end of his latest contract, we’re still waiting for an official confirmation from the soap’s bosses. Watch this space…

Aidan and Mick's 'Final Showdown'

Aidan and Mick

The EastEnders heist storyline reached dramatic conclusion on Friday night (March 9th) as Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Aidan Maguire finally went head-to-head in the Queen Vic.

In the end, Sharon persuaded Phil Mitchell to stand up to his old prison pal Aidan and the criminal left Albert Square with his tail between his legs. However, the door was left open for him to return in the future.

New Arrival

Mitch Baker (Roger Griffiths)

Roger Griffiths joins EastEnders

A new face is coming to the Square this March when Roger Griffiths (Casualty, Chef, Doctors, Holby City) takes on the role of Mitch Baker, and his arrival on the Square spells trouble for the Taylors. 

Audiences will first meet Mitch next month when he turns up at The Arches. In his first episode it’s revealed that Mitch is in fact Keegan’s dad and Karen’s ex-boyfriend, he clearly has a chequered history with the Taylors, leaving us wondering if it was just a coincidence he happened to be in Walford when his van needed a repair…

Throughout Mitch’s short-stint in Walford, he makes a big impact on the Taylors but his shifty behaviour leaves us all asking, what is Mitch really after?

Roger Griffiths commented on his arrival: "The Taylors are an established tight-knit family on the square, so coming in as Mitch – the wild card, meant I had to hit the ground running. I had a brilliant time and the actors who make up the Taylor family made me feel at home instantly. It was love at first sight"

Mitch will appear in a handful of episodes from Monday 12th March

Roger Griffiths previously appeared in EastEnders as DI Christopher Riddick, who was involved in a stortyline with gangster Andy Hunter and Paul Trueman.

Rumoured returns

Zsa Zsa Carter (Emer Kenny)

Emer Kenny

Fans have been predicting a return to Albert Square for Zsa Zsa Carter, but Emer Kenny insists that there is no plan for her to return... yet.

She told one fan, "never say never" about coming back to the BBC One soap, but insisted that rumours about her character getting involved in a storyline between Zsa Zsa's mum Tina and her friend Georgi were not accurate.

New arrival Georgi has been sent by Zsa Zsa to stay with Tina and Linda Carter after falling pregnant.

Emer Kenny left EastEnders in 2010 after a short stint on the BBC One soap and its spinoff E20.

Since leaving EastEnders, Kenny has starred in Father Brown, Badults, Siblings and Pramface. She married TV presenter Rick Edwards in 2016.

Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott)

Ryan Malloy - Neil McDermott

Fans are convinced that the popular character Ryan Malloy will return to the soap as part of Stacey Branning and Martin Fowler's ongoing storyline. Stacey was shown contacting Ryan on her phone on the January 26th episode of the soap and got the help of Ryan's sister Whitney, as she changed the locks on her house,

Ryan is the father of Lily Branning, but hasn't appeared on the soap since he made a one-off cameo in 2016 for Whitney's wedding to Lee Carter.

Neil McDermott's original run in EastEnders ran from 2009 to 2011.

Kandice Taylor (Hannah Spearitt)

Hannah Spearritt

EastEnders fans have praised former S Club 7 star Hannah Spearritt after she made her debut on Albert Square.

The singer appeared in Thursday night’s double-bill as Karen Taylor’s wealthy sister Kandice, who saved the day by eventually lending the Taylors £1,000 to settle their debts.

[Read more: EastEnders fans applaud Hannah Spearrit debut]

Welcoming the positive reviews, Spearritt posted on Twitter: “Thanku so much for the kind feedback guys… I’m on again at 9.30pm if you fancy a bit more…#Eastenders #kandicetaylor #bbc1."

She is the latest pop star to arrive in Albert Square and follows in the footsteps of Blue star Lee Ryan, who earlier this year took on the role of Harry “Woody” Woodward.

Spearritt, who previously appeared in ITV’s sci-fi drama Primeval, said: “I’m over the moon to be joining the show, it’s such a huge part of British telly.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started and I can’t wait to see the Square in the flesh… Walford here I come.”

The Taylor family first appeared in Albert Square in May, but little is known of Karen’s sibling.

Spearitt's short stint on the show has ended, but has confirmed that she would be open to a long-term role in the show.

Confirmed return

Kat Moon, Jean Slater and Big Mo (Jessie Wallace, Gillian Wright and Laila Morse)

kat moon

Kat Moon is set to return to EastEnders once again in the New Year. The beloved character, who's been played by Jessie Wallace on and off since 2000, will be back on the Square after starring in her own spin-off Redwater with on-screen husband Alfie Moon (played by Shane Richie). Her exact return date is unconfirmed,but she won't be coming on her own.

Big Mo Harris (Laila Morse) and Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) will also be returning. The trio are expected to be involved in a storyline with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) following her traumatic Christmas storyline with Max Branning.

[Read more: Shane Richie snubs EastEnders return]

 

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