Shane Richie 'out of' EastEnders
Shane Richie will not return to 'EastEnders'.
The 51-year-old actor first hit screens as Alfie Moon in 2002, but has now suggested his days on Albert Square will end after a spin-off show with his on-screen on/off partner, Kat Slater, played by Jessie Wallace.
The six-part drama was announced last month, and will see the couple put their troubled past behind them and move to Ireland where they will "search for answers to some very big questions".
Speaking about his future on the BBC One soap after the show, he said: "I'm out of it now ... you'll see."
Sources suggest the star may be too busy to return to the soap as he has signed up to another BBC drama, 'Moving On', which will see him act opposite former 'Coronation Street' actress, Julie Hesmondhalgh.
However, speaking earlier this week, the much-loved actor revealed he is looking forward to getting away from his 'EastEnders' character, and added he doesn't feel any competition with Julie despite their soap rivalry, because the shows are actually very similar.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "It's really nice because Alfie is not in it.
"Julie and I were talking about the differences [between the soaps] and there isn't any. We all have the same angst, the same commitment, the same passion for our shows."