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10 August 2017, 12:26 | Updated: 10 August 2017, 15:23
Aaron Sidwell has already bagged a Wicked new role.
EastEnders actor Aaron Sidwell has quit the soap to return to the West End stage – and he’s already landed a new role.
The 28-year-old currently plays the role of Steven Beale, Ian’s messed-up stepson. Soap fans will know that Steven has falsely claimed to have a brain tumour to convince Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) to marry him. The scoundrel! Somehow we don’t think that’s going to end well…
Aaron has told the soap’s bosses of his intention to leave. A source said: "Things are coming to a head on screen, but it's going to be the end of Aaron's time on the show."
The actor will play Fiyero on the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of Wicked across all dates in 2018. He already has a strong stage CV, having previously appeared in Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse), American Idiot (Arts Theatre, London) and as the leading role of Michael Dork in Loserville The Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse and in the West End).
Aaron's former co-star Danny-Boy Hatchard (Lee Carter) is also returning to the stage after leaving the soap. He will appear in a play called Eyes Closed, Ears Covered at London's Bunker Theatre in September.
Maybe don't book that wedding reception venue just yet... [Picture: BBC]
So what will become of psycho Steven?
The source told The Sun " The outcome of the storyline is being kept under wraps. He's sworn to secrecy and so is everyone else in the cast and crew." Oooh, we wonder how the big reveal will happen? It should be quite a dramatic ‘duff duff' and will leave Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) without any children on the Square.
This latest exit comes after it was reported that new EastEnders boss John Yorke has lifted a ban on the show's cast appearing in pantomimes. Oh yes he has, etc etc.
Soap stars have historically turned to money-spinning productions as a means of boosting their earnings and Yorke has decided to lift the ban on the 'Enders cast accepting such roles in a bid to improve the overall mood on set.
A source said: "John has made it his mission to meet with disgruntled stars and find out what has gone wrong. He had a mountain to climb
with some of them - but he's really had an effect and people are already much happier.”
We wonder if that means that some of the Albert Square residents will actually crack a smile? Now that really would be a huge plot twist!