EastEnders star Scott Maslen to leave soap

EastEnders star Scott Maslen has decided to leave the BBC One soap after five years in the role of Jack Branning.

The Daily Star Sunday confirms Maslen’s departure, reporting that he will depart later this year at the end of his current contract.

“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.” – Scott Maslen

Jack’s storylines have included an on/off romance with Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) and a long-running feud with his brother Max (Jake Wood). He is currently romantically involved with Sharon Rickman (Letitia Dean) who returned to the soap in August.

Upcoming scenes will see Jack face possible legal repercussions following a violent clash with Sharon’s ex Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden).

“Since October 2007, Scott Maslen 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. Scott will remain on your screens until late in the year, and there is plenty more drama to be played out before his departure.” – Executive Producer, Lorraine Newman

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday on BBC One.