Scott Maslen announces EastEnders departure
Scott Maslen - best known for his role as Jack Branning - will leave the cast of 'EastEnders' later this year as he looks to move on and focus on other roles
Scott Maslen will leave 'EastEnders' later this year.
The 41-year-old actor has played Jack Branning on the soap since 2007 but he said it is time he focused on other roles.
He announced yesterday: "I've loved playing Jack, and who wouldn't want to work on one of the most successful British TV series, but I've been offered many other roles and just not been able to explore them in the past, simply because of time and commitments to 'EastEnders', and so now it feels like the time to tread a new path for a while."
The star noted he wanted to face "new challenges" after playing the same character for over five years.
He added: "I've played Jack for five and a half years and had some fantastic storylines, but it's now time to have a break from him and try something different.
"I'm incredibly attached to Jack, his family and 'EastEnders', but as an actor I'd like to take on some new challenges for a bit.
" 'EastEnders' is just incredible, it's phenomenally rewarding and I love working here, but now it's time to move on to pastures new."
The soap's executive producer Lorraine Newman praised Scott's range of acting and his ability to bring his character "to life".
She said: "Since October 2007, [he] has brought the wonderful Jack Branning to life on our screens.
"From Scott's heart-wrenching portrayal of a grieving father, to Jack's determination in the coming week to take on Phil Mitchell, the variety in Scott's material shows his fabulous range as an actor."
On-screen, Jack is in a relationship with Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean), with her connection to Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) causing problems as a love triangle develops.
On tonight's show (25.02.13), Jack knocks his rival out and faces potential legal repercussions once the attack is revealed.