Eastenders: Brand new trailer sees return of Janine
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Liam first arrived on EastEnders as the son of Bianca Jackson (played by Patsy Palmer) and her on-off love interest, Ricky Butcher (Sid Owen). After he was born on Christmas Day in 1998 on the BBC soap, the character made several exits and returns to the show before James Forde took on the role in 2008. For seven years the actor portrayed the loveable rogue before his exit in 2015 and six years later, the character has been recast for a new storyline. But why has the original actor been replaced?
Why did the original Liam Butcher leave EastEnders?
James rose to fame in 2008 as Liam, with loyal soap fans falling in love with the older brother of Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith).
The actor starred in some hard-hitting storylines during his stint on the show, including Liam’s battle with dyslexia and getting embroiled with a dangerous gang.
In a heart-wrenching twist, the character did his best to leave the group who had groomed him but he was stabbed in the process.
He went on to make a full recovery and fell in love with Cindy Williams (Mimi Keene), with the pair leaving the programme in 2015 to start a new life together in Germany.
In a statement he issued on Twitter, James spoke about his “amazing” time on the show but didn’t give a specific reason as to why he left.
The 25-year-old wrote at the time: “Yes I can confirm I am leaving EastEnders. It has been an amazing seven-eight years and I’ve loved every minute of it!
“Thank you all for the amazing support and messages I can’t thank you all enough,” he continued following reports of his character’s departure.
After James posted the statement, the BBC also released a comment on the exit, stating: “We wish James all the best for the future.”
Since leaving the soap, James has put his acting career to rest and has ventured down a new path by becoming a builder.
According to his social media pages, he is an employed builder and shares pictures with his 45,000 followers from construction sites.
I can’t thank you all enough
Who will replace the original Liam Butcher on EastEnders?
Prior to Friday night’s episode airing, there was no announcement Liam would be returning or he would be played by a new actor.
However, a spoiler for some future episodes hinted Tiffany’s husband Keegan Baker (Zack Morris) would have “suspicions” about Liam.
With Tiffany dwelling over the breakdown of her marriage with sister Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) in the most recent instalment of the soap, they were approached by an unknown man at the club.
The stranger was opening a bottle of champagne which they said on multiple occasions they didn’t want but they didn’t seem to look at him.
When the cork was popped, they turned around and were elated to see their brother stood with the bottle in his hand.
Newcomer Alfie Deegan has taken on the role of the loveable rogue and he has adopted a much more mature version of the character.
The actor has a shortlist of work on-screen to his name, with his most prominent roles being in the films Perfect 10 and Taylor.
According to his social media profiles, the actor has 930 followers on Instagram and 11 followers on Twitter.
EastEnders will be one of his first breakout roles in the industry but it is not know how long he will be on-screen.
Throughout Friday night’s episode, he explained he and Cindy were devastated to learn about Tiffany’s marriage.
Liam exerted his protective stance as the older brother when Keegan came knocking on Tiffany’s door, wanting to speak about their relationship.
Alfie’s character was less than impressed and end up shutting the door on his brother-in-law’s face but he hasn’t returned just to help his sister.
At the end of the episode, he was seen taking a phone call with an unknown character, sparking a big mystery.
The loveable rogue told the person on the other end of the line he would get them their money but he just needed time.
In upcoming scenes, he will be eyeing up The Arches as a possible money-making opportunity but it’s yet to be revealed what secret he is hiding.
EastEnders continues Monday at 8:05pm on BBC One.
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