Ex-EastEnders actor: I didn’t feel my character was necessary

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

EastEnders star Sam Strike – who played gay character Johnny Carter on the soap, says he quit the soap because he didn’t think his character was “necessary”.

The 20-year-old joined the BBC soap in December 2013 as Carter, and won acclaim for a storyline that saw him come out to his father, played by Danny Dyer.

However, the star confirmed in November that he would bow out of the soap.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Strike cited a “mixture” of reasons for his decision to quit, including a desire to branch out in acting and “try new things”.

However, he added: “I also didn’t really feel like at the time my character was necessarily needed in EastEnders.

“When I was in talks about leaving, I spoke to the people that I’d been working with the most – including Dom the executive producer and the Carters.

“I said to them that if there was anything they really wanted me to do we’d do that, as I didn’t want to leave people high and dry.

“At that time I didn’t feel that Johnny was totally necessary, but I really enjoyed it and I learned a lot.

“I’m sure the writers and the people in the office had a lot more to give to Johnny, and it’s an ensemble effort so everyone’s got to get their bit, but I kind of feel like Johnny peaked quite early with [the coming out story].”