Scott Maslen reveals to Soaplife why he and Jack have to leave EastEnders… but he’s not ruling out a return!
Ronnie and Jack are all loved up… How can he leave her and Walford?
“Jack does love Ronnie – he always will – but there’s just too much history between them. This is really brought home when Lola asks them to look after little Lexi for an afternoon. If their baby James hadn’t died, this is what their life would have been like.”
And that’s something they can’t get past?
“They have a very emotional discussion and when Ronnie decides she can’t be with Jack, he realises he must leave Walford. He has to get away.”
It doesn’t sound like the most dramatic exit…
“Maybe not, but I’m happy about that. A dramatic exit would probably mean Jack being killed off and I didn’t want that. I asked the producers not to kill him off, they went away and thought about it, and fortunately decided they wouldn’t. It means Jack may return one day.”
You and Sam [Womack] are good friends… You must be sorry you haven’t got to work more with her now she’s back as Ronnie?
“We didn’t plan it that she’d come back then I’d leave. It just worked out that way. It would have been good if she’d come back earlier, but she was busy with other stuff. I’m delighted she returned before I left, though. It wouldn’t have felt right if she hadn’t have been there. Our last scenes together were very emotional.”
What’s made you decide to leave now?
“I made the decision about eight months ago. What with The Bill and EastEnders, I’ve had 12 years in either a serial drama or a soap. I’m tired and a bit bored. I’ve been playing Jack since 2007 and some of his storylines now are a bit repetitive. It happens in all the soaps. I want to see what else is out there. I’m ready for it and feel very excited.”
Have you got any work lined up?
“I’m in panto in Bournemouth over Christmas. After that…who knows?”