EastEnders star John Partridge says leaving the show and his role as Christian Clarke is “overwhelming”
As fans of EastEnders may know, John Partridge, who plays the role of Christian Clarke, is leaving the soap soon, a decision which he says was a difficult one to reach.
Speaking to TV Times magazine, John – who’s played the role of Christian since 2008 – explained why he decided the time was right to leave the show, and how hard it was to film his final scenes.
He said, “Leaving was incredibly emotional, and the last day was very difficult.
“You have the whole anticipation of it coming and, when it finally happens, it’s overwhelming.
“I was in tears; our executive producer, Lorraine Newman, was in tears; the people in props were in tears…
“Afterwards, I felt exhausted.”
He replied, “Christian and Syed are a unit. I know some characters can survive having their other half leave but, for me personally, I didn’t see a future for Christian without Syed.
“It was very much a joint decision and it wasn’t an easy one for me to make but, at the same time, you have to serve the story and there has to be a professional happiness tied into that…
“In reality, I think I would’ve been slightly redundant without Marc.”
Christian and Syed have of course recently wed in a civil ceremony, and of those emotional scenes, John said, “It was a nice way to underline what happened in the story.
“But was it important to me, personally, in as far as making a statement and being the first civil partnership on EastEnders?
“No, not really, because actually, we [the gay community] have moved on from civil partnerships.
“We want equal marriage rights and, unfortunately, Christian and Syed couldn’t have this.”
John revealed that his next role is as Prince Charming in a production of Cinderella at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham, and he’s also currently rehearsing for a one-man show, which opens at the Hippodrome Casino, London on 18 February.
Of that, John said, “It’s called Dames n Dudes – it’s a nod to my musical icons; I do everyone from Bowie to Bush!”
And finally, of his time on EastEnders John said, “I have had the most amazing time, and it’s one of those jobs that I will hold dear.
“My memories will be kept in my heart – and I mean that most sincerely.”
Here’s a reminder of one of Christian and Syed’s most touching moments…