Former EastEnders actor Ricky Champ has spoken about whether he thinks a possible return to the square is on the cards for his character Stuart Highway or not.


Champ, who is now starring in the West End production of 2:22 A Ghost Story, was last seen in the soap in August 2022 when he and on-screen wife Rainie (Tanya Franks) drove away for pastures new after a turbulent time battling cancer, relationship troubles and postnatal depression.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Champ revealed what he thinks has happened to his character, stating: "He didn’t die. He rode off into the sunset. I think he’s somewhere in the North Circular living with Rainie. You never know."

Fans of the long-running soap will know that Stuart had quite the year before his exit, which was marked by his mental health struggles which saw him lock people in the doctor's surgery demanding answers after believing he had been misdiagnosed with postnatal depression.

The poignant final moments of Stuart's in the soap also saw a return of Rainie, who made amends with her husband. Together, they left the square intent on making a better life for themselves.

Stuart Highway traps patients in the surgery in EastEnders.
Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) causes chaos at the surgery. BBC

But could Stuart return one day? While we're not sure as of now, the door is certainly open for him, and if EastEnders is known for one thing, it's bringing back characters in the most surprising of ways.

Starring in the soap since 2018, Champ also reflected on the journey Stuart had gone on. He explained: "In EastEnders I went from villain, to hero, to dad. It was amazing, doing that for five years with a character’s arc. It felt weird leaving him."

Marking his EastEnders departure at the time, Champ took to Instagram to post a collage of moments in the role, writing: "What a crazy, amazing journey," he wrote in the caption. "It's going to be strange not having this guy living in my head.

"Farewell Mr Highway, it's been emotional #eastenders (thanks for the pics Jess @stuart_highway on Twitter)."

Champ is currently starring in 2:22 A Ghost Story, a play written by creator of The Battersea Poltergeist podcast, Danny Robins, and directed by Olivier Award-nominated Matthew Dunster. The new cast of the play includes Champ as Ben, as well as Jaime Winstone, Sophia Bush and Clifford Samuel.

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Most recently, EastEnders has also seen the sad departure of another character: Lola (Danielle Harold). The long-standing character saw her battle with cancer come to an unfortunate end, with many poignant moments shared between her friends and family as they gathered to say their final goodbyes.

After 12 years on the soap, Harold and co-stars Jamie Borthwick, Isabella Brown and Perry Fenwick have earned praise from fans for their moving portrayal of Lola's illness.

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