[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 12:04 GMT
Essex withdraws from EastEnders
David Essex
David Essex's hit singles include Hold Me Close and Rock On
Actor David Essex has pulled out of appearing in BBC soap EastEnders after being unable to commit to the amount of time required for the role.

Essex had been due to arrive in Albert Square early next year as "colourful charmer" Jack Edwards, the father of new character Honey.

A BBC spokeswoman said the part was now being recast.

"The role was originally for three weeks but it was expanded and David was unable to commit the time," she said.

She added: "By expanding the role, it will give somebody a great opportunity."

At the time his arrival was announced, Essex said: "Coming from the East End it will be good to go back there."

Popular actor

Executive producer Kate Harwood had predicted that Essex would bring "some real sparkle to the square".

The character is due to come back into the life of Queen Vic barmaid Honey, played by Emma Barton, during an important time.

Essex rose to fame in the early 1970s with his role as Jesus in Godspell before starring in David Puttnam's rock film, That'll Be The Day, and its sequel Stardust.

Various TV and musical roles followed and he was awarded an OBE in 1999 for recognition of his services to charity.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific