EastEnders actor James Forde to leave Liam Butcher role

Forde, who has been on the BBC1 soap since 2008, will depart later this year

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Actor James Forde is to leave EastEnders after seven years in the role of Liam Butcher.

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Liam’s exit storyline has yet to be revealed but a show spokesperson said to RadioTimes.com today: “We can confirm that James Forde will be leaving EastEnders later this year. We wish him all the best for the future.”

Ricky and Bianca’s son has been seen recently getting caught with young mum Cindy Williams (Mimi Keene), while a prominent plotline in 2013 saw the character embroiled with a teen gang.

Tonight the actor took to Twitter to say:

The news of James Forde’s exit follows comments made by executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins that cast changes were on the horizon.

“We are now in a position where a lot of famous names want to come on the show. A couple of years ago, it was probably the other way round. Unfortunately, the BBC has a limited budget so I need to watch who I bring in,” he told the Daily Star Sunday. “But there will be quite a bit of movement over the next few months. Some people are going and some people are coming.”

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.

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And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.