EastEnders star Zack Morris has announced that he will be leaving the BBC soap after five years of playing Keegan Butcher-Baker.
The 23-year-old made a touching statement about his departure, saying: "After five beautiful years on this incredible show, I have made the tough decision to leave Walford and give Keegan Butcher-Baker some well-earned rest. This show has quite frankly changed my life for the better. It will always hold a real loving place in my heart.
“The cast and crew of this show deserve every accolade that comes their way. The hard work, love, and dedication that goes into making four episodes a week is immense and it's not to be taken lightly.
“This show has given me so much, not just as an actor but as a man. These invaluable lessons I have learned at EastEnders will stay with me for the rest of my life. I will forever see this whole experience as the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for. I loved every second."
His exit comes after his on-screen wife, Tiffany Butcher, played by Maisie Smith, left Walford for good in December to start a new life in Germany with her brother Liam, after he meddled in their already broken down marriage, which the couple were trying hard to fix.
Kate Oates, Head of Continuing Drama, BBC Studios said: “Zack has been an incredible asset to EastEnders; not just as a brilliant actor, but as an amazing company member. As a founder member of the Taylor-Bakers, Zack has shone in important narratives such as the knife crime story; he’s broken hearts with his beautiful relationship with Tiffany Butcher; and is soon to take centre stage again as his sister’s killer is unmasked.
“We will miss Keegan from our screens, and Zack from our Elstree family. He’s a great talent, and we wish him well for the future.”
Keegan’s sister, Chantelle Atkins (Jessica Plummer) was murdered by her husband Gray (Toby-Alexander Smith) in 2020 after suffering years of abuse by him. The serial killer is due to be exposed for her murder and finally pay the price for the other horrendous crimes he has committed.
EastEnders continues Thursday at 7:30pm on BBC1 — see our TV Guide for full listings.
Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.
Some of her favourite TV shows are Line of Duty, Fresh Meat, The Great British Bake Off and Gogglebox. In her spare time, Grace likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series!
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