EastEnders: Leslie Grantham blasts decision to give Den’s “‘Ello princess” catchphrase to Gavin

"I think that's pretty poor writing," said the former soap star

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Former EastEnders star Leslie Grantham has spoken out against the BBC1 soap’s decision to give away Dirty Den’s famous “‘Ello, princess” catchphrase.

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EastEnders recently re-wrote the show’s history when it transpired that Den’s trademark greeting to Sharon originated not with him but with her biological father Gavin Sullivan.

“I do find it strange that the show gave Den’s catchphrase to someone else. Den is still remembered and people still ask me to say, ‘Ello princess, because it was one of those bits that made him so popular! You do feel like you own it when you’ve made such an impact,” said the actor.

Leslie Grantham as Den with Letitia Dean as Sharon on EastEnders

Grantham, 69, played the character of Den Watts between 1985 and 1989 and again from 2003 to 2005, at which point the womanising pub owner was killed off.

Since leaving, Grantham has featured in many touring theatre productions and has now written a fantasy novel, Jack Bates and the Wizard’s Spell.

Speaking to Inside Soap about the decision to have Sharon be someone else’s princess, Grantham added: “Obviously the show moves on and there’s a whole new generation now, but I think that’s pretty poor writing.”

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

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