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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 22:56 GMT 23:56 UK
Farewell to EastEnders' Ferreiras
The Ferreira family is to be axed in the spring
The entire Ferreira family is to leave TV soap EastEnders, the BBC has said.

An EastEnders spokesman said the move was a mutual decision between the programme makers and actors as the characters "had run their course".

Some of the storylines involving the family, who joined Albert Square in June 2003, have been criticised amid concerns over flagging viewing figures.

The spokesman praised the "outstanding" acting ability of the cast and thanked them for their "dedication to the job".

The soap's viewing figures dropped to a low of 6.2m on 21 September, according to unofficial overnight ratings. The fall in viewers came under competition from its ITV1 rival Emmerdale, which went head-to-head with EastEnders.

Spring departure

The ousted family includes Adi Ferreira, played by Ameet Chana, Ash Ferreira, played by Raji James, Ronny Ferreira, played by Ray Panthaki, Kareena Ferreira, played by Pooja Shah, Tariq Larousi, played by Nabil Elouahabi and Sasha Perkins, played by Jemma Walker.

All six are to leave in the spring, producers said.

Elouahabi said: "I've really enjoyed being part of the show and look forward to moving on to pastures new."

Shah added: "I've loved being part of the show and I'm going to miss everyone involved - cast, crew and production because it's like having been part of a family."

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