EASTENDERS star James Forde has broken his silence on being replaced by another actor in the role of Liam Butcher.
Newcomer Alfie Deegan took over as the wayward son of Bianca Jackson and Ricky Butcher this week.
Liam surprised Tiffany and Whitney at Ruby’s, where they were enjoying a few drinks, and revealed that he’d been working in Germany as a mechanic.
Soap fans were outraged when the young Butcher looked remarkably different, but James – who played Liam between 2008 and 2015 – commented on Twitter: "Appreciate the love people but don't be upset.
"I chose myself to be a builder and not an actor and I am genuinely happier than ever right now. Do what works for you and be happy."
The character hasn’t been seen on the BBC One soap since 2015, when he and Cindy Beale left for Germany alongside her newborn daughter Beth.
James was part of some memorable storylines – when he joined a gang, got arrested and stabbed by one of the other members of the crew.
He is not the only soap star to have a normal job after they leave the spotlight, as another EastEnders star Katie Jarvis was spotted working as a security guard at Romford’s B&M store.
Former Hollyoaks star Gemma Merna, who played Carmen McQueen on the soap from 2006-2014, quit acting to work as a yoga instructor and personal trainer.
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Corrie’s Martin Platt, played by Sean Wilson for 20 years from 1985-2005, left the acting scene behind to start running a cheese-making business.
Tom Watt played Lofty Holloway, an original EastEnders cast member, but left the show in 1988 and went on to become a sports journalist.
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