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Anita Dobson: 'I was never returning to EastEnders'

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Strictly Come Dancing 2011: Anita Dobson

© BBC

EastEnders actress Anita Dobson has revealed that she is glad her iconic character Angie Watts was killed off.

Angie graced Albert Square between 1985 and 1988, garnering a legion of fans thanks to her turbulent relationship with 'Dirty' Den (Leslie Grantham) - which ended in divorce on Christmas Day 1986 in a storyline that attracted over 30 million viewers, the most ever for a UK drama.

The character passed away off-screen in 2002, a decision that Dobson has now admitted she was pleased with since it prevented her from being tempted back to Walford.

"Why tarnish the gorgeous creation that was Angie Watts? I was seriously tempted to go back twice but once you make a decision as big as that to leave, I think it's very rare that you go back," she told The Sun.

"And I've been really lucky - I've had a great career and done some fantastic things since so there never was that reason to go back.

"When my agent rang me and told me they were going to kill Angie off, I said, 'Good'. It was time. They had asked me so many times if I'd go back and I'd always said, 'Never say never', but realistically it was never going to happen."

Dobson admitted that her time on EastEnders seems like "another lifetime now", but clarified that her distant memories of the show have not diminished her pride in Angie.

"I'm still very proud of it - and very proud of her... she's very special to me and always will be," the 62-year-old said, adding: "She was flawed but fabulous - and the combination was magical. What a wonderfully complicated, completely joyful, screwed-up, mad kind of creature she was."

Dobson made a return to TV this autumn as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing, eventually finishing seventh. While competing in the show, she made a visit to the EastEnders set along with her professional partner Robin Windsor.

> Anita Dobson: 'I don't regret EastEnders'

Watch 'Dirty' Den serve Angie Watts divorce papers below:

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