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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
EastEnders' Mark axed from square
Mark Fowler marries Lisa in EastEnders 2001
Actor Todd Carty is "trying new things"
EastEnders' market trader Mark Fowler is being axed from the BBC One soap after 12 years, the BBC has announced.

Actor Todd Carty is set to leave the show early next year, and has said he is looking forward to new projects.

The 38-year-old, whose character is HIV positive, said: "I've had 12 brilliant years on EastEnders, and they've been fantastic to me.


Todd and I agreed that it was time for Mark to hang up his leather jacket for the last time

Executive producer Louise Berridge

"I'll deeply miss all the cast and crew and everyone involved on the show.

"I'm looking forward to trying new things, seeing a little more of my children and finally setting a date for my wedding to Dina next year."

EastEnders' executive producer Louise Berridge said Carty had made a "fantastic contribution" to the soap and Mark had been a "pivotal figure" on Albert Square, but the character had finally run its course.

"Todd and I have discussed this at some length and agreed that it was time for Mark to hang up his leather jacket for the last time.

"We will all miss Todd, who is one of our best-loved actors, and wish him every success in the future," she said.

'Other projects'

John Yorke, BBC One's head of drama series, said: "We want to thank Todd for his great contribution to EastEnders over the last 12 years.

Todd Carty as Mark Fowler
Carty has been with the TV soap since 1990
"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."

Carty first hit TV screens at the age of 14 as Tucker Jenkins in children's drama Grange Hill, before getting his own spin-off show Tucker's Luck.

He joined EastEnders in 1990, taking over the part of Mark Fowler from original actor David Scarboro who had quit the soap because of stress. He committed suicide in 1988.

Once Carty joined the cast it was not long before he became the centre of one of the soap's most controversial storylines.

His character caught the HIV virus from his girlfriend, whose previous lover was infected.

Producers said Mark's marriage to Lisa earlier this year was one of the soap stories of 2002.

Carty has two sons - James, five, and baby Thomas - with partner Dina Clarkin.


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Todd CartyMark axed
Was it time for the Eastenders' star to go?
 VOTE RESULTS
Should Todd Carty have been axed?

Yes
 49.57% 

No
 50.43% 

3585 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


BBC News Online profiles actor Todd Carty, who is leaving EastEnders after 12 years in the show
Carty's years on TV

See also:

03 Jul 02 | Entertainment
09 Jun 02 | Entertainment
30 May 02 | Entertainment
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12 Apr 02 | Entertainment
12 Feb 02 | Entertainment
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