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Friday, 5 July, 2002, 20:06 GMT 21:06 UK
EastEnders' Mark: Was it time to go?
EastEnders' market trader Mark Fowler, played by Todd Carty, is set to leave the BBC One soap early next year, following 12 years in the square.
The 38-year-old said: "I've had 12 brilliant years on EastEnders, and they've been fantastic to me. I'm looking forward to trying new things."
EastEnders' executive producer Louise Berridge said Carty had made a "fantastic contribution" to the soap and Mark has been a "pivotal figure" on Albert Square, but the character - who is HIV positive - had finally run its course.
John Yorke, BBC One's head of drama series said: "With his work on the show, and Grange Hill before that, he has been an integral part of BBC drama series for many years, and we are looking forward to developing other projects with him."
Was it time for Todd to go? How should his character leave the square?
This debate is now closed. See below for a selection of your comments/
The best way to have the character leave would be the imposition of an EEC directive making it illegal for market stall owners to have other people 'mind the stall for a bit' over 20 times a day. The stall could be replaced by one run by a new character who teaches people to use their own washing machine.
I'll be sorry to see him go, I've grown up watching him in Grange Hill, Tuckers Luck and EastEnders. I hope he finds something suitable for his obvious talent.
As long as he doesn't do the 'Back of the taxi' scene, I'm sure Todd's last episode will be a good one.
I hope we see him in different roles on TV or even films. Todd has been around as far back as I can remember, so he's part of the establishment.
"Never mind Mark, put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea..."
I think that his character had run its course. But he should go out with a dramatic twist, not be killed off by his HIV.
I think Mark should die of Aids. How many young people watch EastEnders? It would hopefully make them think twice before engaging in high-risk activities, such as unprotected sex.
I think Eastenders as a whole has run its course: Phil walking round trying to look hard and Pauline with her permascowl. Could I suggest a meteorite impact on Walford or an earthquake or some other life extinction event soon?
To those who say his character has gone as far as it can, can the poor chap not just have a normal life like the rest of us or must it be full of major problems and woes to be interesting?
I must admit, I stopped watching Eastenders some time ago as it made me feel so depressed with one downbeat plot after another. Can't these people ever have something nice happen?
I'm frankly pretty surprised at this. I thought Mark was one of the "tent pole" characters of EE and would be around for years no matter how little storyline he generated. He was a core character in a core family. Guess Martin will take over the stall now.
I agree it would be a cop-out not to have his "final exit" be HIV related. However, with the news that Lisa (Lucy Benjamin) is leaving also then I wouldn't be surprised if he'll be incarcerated for hiding the knowledge that she was Phil's shooter.
Todd Carty's next career move is obvious. A return to Grange Hill - Tucker as teacher!
Of course he should go! Aids charities have already complained to the BBC that having an HIV+ character live without any complications for over a decade is sending out the wrong message about HIV and Aids. Considering that the disease is now rife amongst 16-24-year-olds it is the right timing to have him succumb to his disease. It will be a brilliant storyline and will also be informative to the younger viewers. I wish Todd Carty all the best in his future projects and upcoming wedding.
In the nicest possible way as a tribute to the character, we should be left with the feeling of "bless him, I hope he gets on alright".
No doubt millions of brain-washed viewers whose evenings revolve around the soap schedules will be affected and need trauma counselling. Personally I can't wait for the rest of the cast to get killed off along with the show itself.
Although I think Todd Carty is excellent I do think Mark, along with a lot of other characters have run their course. This is not due to their acting talent, but simply the failure of the show's writers to keep the storyline for old characters going. Best of "Tuckers Luck" to you Todd!
I think Mark Fowler has probably been fully explored as a character. I hope the BBC doesn't just have him move away. It's sad but he inevitably contracts Aids and dies. If he goes out any other way the storyline will have been a cop-out.
Who cares? no really who cares? if you do, time to switch off the TV and go outside where the real life is.
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