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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 April 2006, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
EastEnders' Martin to leave soap
Natalie Cassidy and James Alexandrou
Both Natalie Cassidy and James Alexandrou are leaving
EastEnders actor James Alexandrou is to leave the BBC One soap opera, producers have confirmed.

Alexandrou, who has played Martin Fowler for 10 years, told The Sun: "Having just turned 21, I feel it is an appropriate time to leave."

Fellow actor Natalie Cassidy, who plays Martin's wife Sonia, announced earlier this week she was also leaving.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "James has been a fantastic member of the cast and he goes with our best wishes."

Alexandrou told The Sun he would be happy to return to the show at a later date.

"I owe everything to the show," he said. "I would love to come back one day, that is, if EastEnders will have me."

Martin's storylines have seen him sent to prison for killing Sonia's fiance in a car accident, having already got her pregnant at 15 and watching her give the baby up for adoption.

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