EastEnders exits for four characters as show shake-up continues

It’s all change in Walford.

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders will wave goodbye to four more cast members in the coming months as part of a show shake-up, we can reveal.

Ricky Champ (Stuart Highway), Dayle Hudson (Peter Beale), Barbara Smith (Dana Monroe) and Kelsey Calladine-Smith (Jada Lennox) will all be bowing out from the BBC One soap.

The four departing stars will finish filming in the summer. Details of their exit storylines are yet to be revealed.

We understands that the characters of Stuart, Peter, Dana and Jada are being written out as EastEnders’ new boss Chris Clenshaw sets up the show’s new era.

A show insider told us: “Whenever a new boss comes in, there’s always going to be big changes and it’s no different with Chris. He’s been working hard behind the scenes since January and is really planning to shake things up, which means saying goodbye to some characters.

“It’s nothing personal to any of the cast going, it’s simply a creative decision – for big storylines to happen you have to say goodbye to people, that’s the nature of soap.

“Chris has some really big stories planned and viewers will see his stuff starting to air over the summer. He’s really keen to take the show back to its roots, build up the clans again with some big explosive long-running stories. It’s an exciting time to be on the show.”

Ricky has been playing Stuart since 2018, while Dayle took over the role of Peter in 2020 as part of the show’s 35th anniversary celebrations.

Barbara made her first appearance as Dana in early 2021, while Kelsey was brought in as Jada last November.

Recent reports have also suggested that Danielle Harold is leaving her role as Lola Pearce after three years back in the part.

Clenshaw was announced as the programme’s new producer last November, taking over from Jon Sen. His storylines are expected to start appearing on screen in the coming weeks.

Clenshaw already has a history with EastEnders as he previously worked on the show for four years, starting off as a storyliner in 2015. He later took on the posts of script editor and story producer.

When his appointment was confirmed, Clenshaw commented: “I’m thrilled to be returning to Walford to work with the hugely talented team on a British institution that, for more than three decades, has given us some of the most memorable moments in popular culture.

“Becoming the custodian of one of Britain’s greatest dramas is a huge honour.”

EastEnders airs on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One and streams on BBC iPlayer.