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Ryder 'shocked' at character's departure

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Jack Ryder says he was "shocked" by the decision to kill off his EastEnders character Jamie Mitchell.

Ryder announced his decision to quit the soap in March this year, and was originally told the door would be left open for a possible return in the future. New executive producer Louise Berridge decided to kill Michell off, however, in a Christmas storyline involving a car crash.

"I was a bit shocked by their decision," he told The Mirror today. "When I said he was going to leave, they said they would keep the door open. Then Louise took over as producer and they said they wanted a good exit. It didn't really matter either way to me. I wasn't planning on coming back. At the end of the day, it's their choice. They hired me. Jamie was always having an affair or another fight with Phil and I didn't want to be in a soap for the rest of my life."

He wasn't pleased about Dean Gaffney's recent axing meanwhile, he admitted, nor were the rest of the cast.

"A lot of the cast were really shocked," he said. "Everyone loves Dean to bits. He plays a great character and he brought comedy to the show. He's really shocked. One minute he's been there ten years and the next he's told he's got six weeks left. For anyone to be sacked is quite humiliating and embarrassing." Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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