Exiting EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins considered booking his old school friend Benedict Cumberbatch for a cameo on the BBC1 soap.
The final episodes with Treadwell-Collins at the helm will be broadcast in the coming weeks as Barbara Windsor bows out as Peggy Mitchell and Ross Kemp returns as her screen son Grant.
But the soap’s executive producer also contemplated bringing in his old Harrow contemporary for a guest appearance later this month.
“I thought about the idea of some stunt casting,” Treadwell-Collins reveals in the new issue of Radio Times. “Ben Cumberbatch has said that he seriously wanted to do EastEnders if he had the time. So I toyed with him for a while.”
Old friends: EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins (left) and actor Benedict Cumberbatch (right)
But the Albert Square supremo eventually decided against casting the Sherlock star. “It would have been too unreal and flashy. I’ve got to think about the show going on. That week isn’t the end, it’s the start of other stories.”
In February 2015, Cumberbatch commented that he did indeed have plans to take a role on the soap.
“It’s EastEnders for me next,” he said, before praising Walford star Jessie Wallace. “Jessie’s really lovely and the first time I met her was at an awards show. She just shouts ‘you’re f****** brilliant’ and I just shout it back. I think she’s amazing.”
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