Actor Phil Daniels, who plays Kevin Wicks in EastEnders, is quitting the soap – and his onscreen family are following, according to the papers.
According to The Sun, Daniels has decided not to renew his contract with the show – and as a result producers have also axed Carly and Deano Wicks, played by Kellie Shirley and Matt Di Angelo.
Actress Diane Parish – who appears as Kevin’s new wife Denise – will also be leaving as she is expecting a baby, but is expected to return to screens next year. Linda Henry, who plays Kevin’s ex-wife Shirley, will remain in the soap.
“EastEnders has been an absolute pleasure,” Daniels told the paper, “but it was always my intention, after two years in the job, to move on and do other things.”
“I’d like to thank all on the Square for making my stay such fun.”
Kellie Shirley said that “it wouldn’t feel right” to stay on in Walford without the rest of her onscreen relatives.
“I’ve not been able to accept work while playing Carly and I can’t wait to get my teeth into other roles, but I wouldn’t change a thing about my EastEnders experience,” she added.
The actors will leave when their contracts run out in November, while Kevin, Carly and Deano will make their final appearances in early 2008.