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EastEnders legend Grant Mitchell could have been blown up in a botched bank robbery!

EastEnders Grant Mitchell
(Image credit: BBC/Jack Barnes)

Soap history could have been very different!

EastEnders legend Grant Mitchell could have ended up being blown up in a botched bank robbery, an ex boss on the show has revealed.

Matthew Robinson, the then executive producer on EastEnders, recalls that the idea was raised as a possibility back in 1999 when Ross Kemp revealed he was leaving the soap for ITV.

In a post on Walford Web, Matthew said that on hearing the shock news that Ross was going he discussed Grant’s exit with his then boss, Mal Young [the then Controller of Continuing Drama Series].

Matthew writes that Mal thought that they needed a "massive massive story” and then suggested: “A robbery! A bank robbery!! With a huge explosion!!! And a charred body. No one can recognise it. The audience won’t know if Grant’s alive or dead!.”

However, as every EastEnders fan knows of course Grant didn’t get blown up in a bank robbery.

Grant loses control of the car - is it the end for Grant and Phil 1999.jpg

Grant looses control of the car back in 1999! But, of course, he lived to fight another day (Image credit: BBC ONE)

Instead, Matthew, Mal and the rest of the EastEnders team agreed on probably one of the most dramatic moments in the show’s history for Grant’s 1999 exit.

After discovering Grant had slept with his wife Kathy, Phil when nuts with a handgun, resulting in the car Grant was driving plunging into the Thames. Over 19 million fans watched the episode and it was later revealed that Grant had survived.

Ross Kemp has of course reprised the role since and it’s rumoured that he could be back next year as Grant, who was first in EastEnders way back in 1989.

New EastEnders boss Kate Oates recently revealed that she was looking at bringing “two, possibly three old faces” back to Albert Square.

It was announced earlier this year that Kate was becoming Senior Executive Producer overseeing not just EastEnders but also Casualty and Holby City.

EastEnders continues on BBC1.