Market inspector Aleks Shirvos may have fled Walford on EastEnders last night after his double dealing came to light – but it seems that Kristian Kiehling had a far more explosive exit planned for his character.
“To tell you the truth, I suggested a somewhat more spectacular scenario to executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “I sent him an article about The Siege of Sidney Street in 1911, where two Latvian anarchists held out in an East End tenement for seven hours against 200 police and armed soliders, with thousands of Londoners looking on.”
And, as it turns out, Kiehling’s own plans for Alek’s departure also involved the leader of the UK Independence Party. “I could picture myself holed up in the Queen Vic armed to the teeth and with my daughter at my side. The whole cast including Nigel Farage as a guest star could have been looking on. Naturally, such a scenario would have been way over the BBC budget, so we chose a somewhat muted exit. And, as a matter of fact, Latvians are generally not known to be very temperamental.”
In the end, Aleks living to fight another day rather than going down in a blaze of glory gives Kiehling the chance to return one day, should the writers choose to give him a comeback. “Well, I’d never say never,” says the actor. “It was, in fact, hinted that I would always be welcomed back. And naturally it would be an honour, should I ever get an invitation for a return. At this point, I want to say thank you to the brilliant team of writers, who gave me great material to work with time and time again.”
And the experience of working alongside Rita Simons (who plays Roxy) and Gledisa Osmani (Aleks’s screen daughter Ineta) has even made Kiehling think about his own future. “Rita was a great on-screen partner and made me laugh a lot in between scenes. With Rita and Sam Womack together on set, I had a hell of a time keeping a straight face.
“But I will also miss lovely Gledisa, who played my daughter in the show and also little Abbie Knowles, who plays Roxy’s daughter Amy. They were so incredibly talented and lovely to work with. It made me think that it’s high time I should have my own kids in real life!”
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