EastEnders Natalie Cassidy says ‘it is what it is’ as four stars axed from soap

Eastenders star Natalie Cassidy has said "‘it is what it is” as the soap has announced plans to axe four of its cast members.

The 39 year old has played long-running character Sonia Fowler on the BBC One series since she was a child, having been written off and brought back on multiple times over the years, giving her reason to understand the dramatic move made by producers.

Characters Stuart Highway (played by Ricky Champ), Peter Beale (Dayle Hudson), Jada Lennox (Kelsey Calladine-Smith) and Dana Monroe (Barbara Smith), will be exiting Albert Square in a plot line shake-up to the surprise fans.

While many have been left disappointed, Natalie attached the decision to the “nature of the business” as she spoke to Metro.co.uk.

“It’s soap. It’s what happens. To get good stories, you need people to exit and you need people to come in. It’s just the way of the show,” Natalie said.

“Exits and entrance is a part of soaps. So it just is what it is.”

Eastenders’ upcoming departures come months after Chris Clenshaw stepped in as the new executive producer on the show, replacing Jon Sen last November.


Natalie added that she is “so excited” to have Chris, who “loves the show as much as I do”, in charge and can't wait to see what’s to come in store for the soap following his leadership and direction.

She continued: “It’s just lovely to be in a place where we’re starting afresh. I’ve watched the show go through many different sets and different times and this is just another one and I’m really excited."

According to Digital Spy, executive producer Chris has been focusing hard on making exciting changes to Eastenders since January, leading to the latest announcement of cast exits.

“It's nothing personal to any of the cast going, it's simply a creative decision – for big storylines to happen you have to say goodbye to people, that's the nature of soap,” a source said.

"Chris has some really big stories planned and viewers will see his stuff starting to air over the summer. He's really keen to take the show back to its roots, build up the clans again with some big explosive long-running stories.

"It's an exciting time to be on the show."

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