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Tuesday, 12 February, 2002, 07:49 GMT
EastEnder Beppe moving on
Michael Greco as Beppe
Beppe (right): The character has "run its course"
EastEnders star Michael Greco, who plays Beppe di Marco, is to leave Albert Square this summer, the BBC has announced.

BBC One said the popular character, who has been in the ratings-topping show since January 1998, had "run its course".

No details were announced as to how the character would be axed from the soap, but a spokesman said Beppe would stay on the screen until midsummer.

The soap's executive producer John Yorke said: "Michael has done a great job portraying the character of Beppe.

The Queen Vic
The Queen Vic: Focal point

"I would like to thank him for all his hard work.

"However, we felt that the character of Beppe had run its course.

"I would like to wish Michael the best of luck for his future."

Mr Greco said he had had a "fantastic time" in the soap, and had just finished filming a one-off drama - Murder in Mind - also with the BBC.

He did not reveal his future plans.

I've had a fantastic time during my time on EastEnders, and I would like to thank everyone at the BBC for their support.

Michael Greco

The di Marco family moved to Albert Square in 1998.

The other family members have since left the soap.

Storyline highlights for Beppe have included his romance with Grant Mitchell's wife, Tiffany, played by Martine McCutcheon.

Viewers have also followed his rocky relationship with ex-wife Sandra, and his recent HIV scare and fling with Lynne Slater.

See also:

28 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
BBC on top in ratings war
29 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Ricky and Bianca film soap return
14 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Queen to meet EastEnders
29 Oct 01 | England
Dog lands EastEnders role
05 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
EastEnder Tamzin bows out
04 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
EastEnders sees helpline calls rocket
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