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Friday, 12 April, 2002, 19:49 GMT 20:49 UK
Outhwaite bows out of EastEnders
Tamzin Outhwaite
Kidnapping is just one of the ordeals Mel has endured
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite has said farewell to Albert Square, after making her final appearance in EastEnders on Friday.

Outhwaite, who plays Melanie Owen, left the BBC One soap after three years to pursue other acting projects.

After a series of ordeals, her character decided she could trust no-one and boarded a coach out of London.

Tamzin Outhwaite
Red Cap: Outhwaite plays a military policewoman

In the past week alone, Mel was in jail, found out she was pregnant and discovered her best friend, Lisa - and not her husband Steve - shot bad boy Phil Mitchell.

Over the years, Mel has married twice, been taken hostage and slept with Phil Mitchell, who was going out with Lisa at the time.

Outhwaite, 31, decided to leave EastEnders after the success of the BBC One military police drama Red Cap, which was filmed last year and went out at Christmas.

The pilot programme proved popular, and has now been made into a series, to be screened later this year.

Outhwaite is also set to play the mother of a teenage criminal in a new BBC two-part drama entitled Young Offenders.

Souvenirs

But despite having new projects lined up, the actress has not ruled out a return to Walford.

She said: "Never say never, is my view, which is why I so hope they don't kill off Mel.

"It would be nice to think that there might be a storyline for her at some point in the future," she told the magazine Hot Stars.

Michael Greco as Beppe
Beppe: Leaving earlier than planned

Outhwaite revealed she would take some souvenirs with her from EastEnders, including the tiara Mel wore on the day of her wedding to Ian Beale - and her divorce papers.

Michael Greco, who plays Beppe Di Marco in the soap, is to leave the series earlier than previously thought, according to newspaper reports.

The 30-year-old actor is said to have filmed his final scenes on Thursday - a month earlier than stipulated in his contract.

A BBC spokesman told The Sun Greco had asked to leave early.

See also:

09 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Outhwaite 'lined up for ITV drama'
12 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
EastEnder Beppe moving on
28 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
BBC on top in ratings war
26 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
EastEnders' Kemp joins ITV
29 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Ricky and Bianca film soap return
02 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
EastEnders triumph at soap awards
28 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Queen tours UK broadcasters
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