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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 November, 2004, 11:44 GMT
Dirty Den actor leaves EastEnders
Leslie Grantham in EastEnders
Leslie Grantham has been back in EastEnders for just over a year
Leslie Grantham, who plays "Dirty" Den Watts in soap EastEnders, is to leave the show, the BBC has confirmed.

"All I can say is the stories are true, that he's leaving," a BBC spokesman said, but would not give more details.

Grantham made a high-profile return to the hit BBC One show in 2003 after 14 years away.

But he hit the headlines in May after a newspaper printed photographs of him apparently exposing himself via a webcam from his dressing room.

The news of his departure follows recent press reports that he had been axed by new executive producer Kathleen Hutchison.

Leslie Grantham as Den Watts
Dirty Den was one of the most famous TV characters of the 1980s
The Ferreira family and Kate Mitchell, played by Jill Halfpenny, have already left since Ms Hutchison arrived.

Grantham shot to fame as the landlord of the Queen Victoria pub, married to Angie (Anita Dobson), but originally left the soap when his character was apparently shot dead in February 1989.

More than 16 million viewers watched Dirty Den return with the words "Hello princess" to stunned daughter Sharon in September 2003.

After the newspaper revelations in May, the actor apologised to his fellow cast members and viewers.

"I very much regret that a moment's stupidity has cast a shadow over what I consider one of Britain's best shows of which I'm thoroughly proud to be a part," he said at the time.

Grantham apologises to soap stars
04 May 04 |  Entertainment
Farewell to EastEnders' Ferreiras
13 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
'Dirty Den' extends EastEnders deal
03 Nov 03 |  Entertainment
Sixteen million watch Den's return
30 Sep 03 |  Entertainment
Dirty Den: Soap's most loveable villain
29 Sep 03 |  Entertainment



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