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EastEnders icon Sid Owen, who has played Ricky Butcher on and off since 1988, has admitted he’s not too pleased with the soap’s decision to kill off another major character.
Sid, 44, was unhappy with top brass’ decision to kill off his step mum Pat Evans in 2012. Now he’s “shocked” that Peggy Mitchell, played by Dame Barbara Windsor, will see a similar fate this spring.
Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Celebrity, he said: “I thought it was wrong when they killed Pat off … these are huge, iconic characters. In acting it doesn’t matter what age you retire. I think it’s a bit of a shock.”
Asked if he feels it’s the wrong decision, Sid added: “Oh, absolutely.”
Peggy’s demise comes after soap legend Barbara decided to bow out of EastEnders for good and requested boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins write off the character.
“I’ll be gutted to see her away from the cast. She’s been a huge, integral part of it,” said Sid.
As for a comeback of his own, the actor added: “There are no immediate plans. If I got asked, I’d go back in a flash.”
What about returning with his long-time co-star Patsy Palmer, who played BIanca Jackson? Sid said: “I think it’s too soon. She’s loving life in LA, she’s settled, the kids are loving it.”
Sid will join a host of celebs including Sarah Harding, Mark-Francis Vandelli and James Argent on the new series of The Jump and says there’s one celeb who is giving all the other stars a run for their money.
He explained, “Well, obviously, there are some athletes here. One that I think is going to do well is Beth Tweddle. I’ve skied for years, but she’s taken to it like a natural. She’s conditioned, she’s an athlete and she’s got a lot of bottle.”
This year’s series of The Jump will see all of the celebs live together for the first time and Sid has already struck up some unlikely friendships with TOWIE’s Arg and Made in Chelsea’s Mark-Francis.
He revealed, “I’ve really bonded with Brian [McFadden]. Arg is a great spirit, lovely kid, and Mark-Francis is hilarious.”
Along with millions of other fans, one rather famous will be tuning in when The Jump kicks off on Sunday—Sid’s famous friend Adele.
“I’m sure she will watch if she’s in the country,” Sid replied when we asked about the Hello warbler.
The Jump begins on Sunday 31 January at 7.30pm on Channel 4