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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Emma Wilson

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

Natalie Cassidy says ‘it is what it is’ as she spoke about the news that four stars are to be axed from EastEnders.

The 39-year-old actress, who plays Sonia Fowler on the BBC One soap, was quizzed about the decision by show producers to get rid of the characters in a huge shake-up that has stunned viewers.

Ricky Champ (Stuart Highway), Barbara Smith (Dana Monroe), Dayle Hudson (Peter Beale), and Kelsey Calladine-Smith (Jada Lennox) will be leaving Albert Square over the coming months in big storylines set to rock the soap.

While fans are disappointed by the news, Natalie said it was just how the TV industry worked and is the “nature of the business”.

Natalie has played Sonia on the soap since 1993 (BBC / Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

“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. Exits and entrance is a part of soaps. So it just is what it is,” she told at the British Soap Awards.

She said she was “so excited” to see what new executive producer Chris Clenshaw would bring to the long-running soap.

“Chris is a wonderful addition. He’s been with us before, he’s very passionate about the show, he loved it inside and out, seriously,” Natalie shared.

The beloved soap star, who has played Sonia since 1993, was relieved that someone who “loves the show as much as I do” was in charge.

“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,” she explained.

Ricky Champ is one of the actors who has been axed (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Chris was hired in November last year, as Jon Sen decided to step down, and according to Digital Spy, the newcomer has been working hard since January to shake things up.

“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 told the outlet.

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