EastEnders Hayley Slater

Former EastEnders actor Danny-boy Hatchard speaks out about his exit and admits: “It was time for me to go”

He didn't want to be typecast

Former EastEnders actor Danny-Boy Hatchard has admitted he felt the time was right for him to depart the soap when his character Lee Carter left earlier this year.

He played the ex-solider from 2015, but has revealed to The Mirror that he found the intensity of the filming schedule full on.

Lee’s depression was a hard-hitting storyline that came to a disappointing end (Credit: BBC)

Read more: EastEnders star reveals disappointment over exit

“It was a comfortable job but it is like a revolving door that place, as people do come and go and things change.

“It’s like a chocolate factory and we bang out scenes like no tomorrow.”

Lee, who was suffering from depression, left wife Whitney Carter heartbroken when he disappeared in the middle of their Valentine’s Day meal.

Lee left Whitney stranded in Beales (Credit: BBC)

He later returned to explain himself, but told her he needed to get away in order to try and deal with his demons.

Danny-Boy has now revealed he’s sure it was the right time for him to leave the soap.

“I was very serious about it and I enjoyed every second of it, but it was just time for me to go,” he said.

“I guess now I’ll never be typecast.

“My concern was that staying in one place too long does not help you to grow as an individual and it does not allow you to reinvent yourself and that is what is important.”

Danny-Boy admitted it was his time to leave (Credit: BBC)

The actor spoke out earlier this month about his exit, telling The Sun it was former producer Sean O’Connor who wrote the character out of the show the way he did.

“He could have left a little more attention to detail. I feel it got a little brushed off.

“It was Sean’s decision and I had to respect that. But if I had written it, I’d have written it differently.”

Lee did a runner earlier this year, leaving Whitney behind (Credit: ITV)

Danny-Boy isn’t the only actor to hit out at former show boss Sean, who quit suddenly last month.

Riley Carter Millington, who played Stacey Fowler’s brother, Kyle Slater, has also spoken out over how he felt about his exit from the show.

He joined the soap under Dominic Treadwell-Collins in 2015, but was written out when Sean took over and Riley’s year-long contract came up.

Riley made soap history as the first transgender actor to play a trans character (Credit: BBC)

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The actor was the first transgender actor to play a transgender character in soap and was involved in a powerful coming out storyline, which saw Denise Welch cast as his mother, Alison.

Alison was unable to accept her daughter was now her son, and despite Stacey’s best efforts to get them to work things out, the tension couldn’t be resolved.

Alison couldn’t accept the new Kyle (Credit: BBC)

Things seemed to stumble there for Kyle and he spent much of the rest of his time with few scenes and when he was on screen, it was as he cooked for the family.

His final scene saw him cooking lasagne for the family before heading off for a new job as a chef in France.

Speaking to The Sun, Riley said of his exit: “I was disappointed it was not shown that Kyle had a normal life.

“He had the big coming-out story and it was dramatic and emotional, but we didn’t get to see a happy ending, like a relationship of any sort other than the reunion with his half-sister, Stacey. It was frustrating.

Kyle could come back, he has connections (Credit: BBC)

“I felt I let myself and the fans down as I could have pushed for something.

“It’s a shame to have gay characters and then you have to say goodbye.”