Actor and presenter Ross Kemp has criticised EastEnders’ former boss Sean O’Connor.
The 52-year-old – who played Grant Mitchell in the soap for 9 years between 1990-1999 and in brief spells since – told The Sun that his former cast mates are likely to be ‘happy as larry’ that O’Connor is no longer overseeing the production.
The departure of O’Connor – whose story ‘highlights’ included Walford residents moaning about missed bin collections and Denise Fox visiting a food bank– was announced by the beeb last month. In a statement the former Archers editor said he’d “had an amazing time at EastEnders” but was intending to focus on his film career. However, The Sun reported significant discord behind the scenes on the saga and that he had been forced out.
“He reminded me of a sort of schoolteacher of a kind of third-rate public school. That’s not really what you want for the cast of EastEnders.
“You write it well, you cast it well and you do the right things — and you don’t abuse certain members, i.e. you don’t work them into the f****** ground, which is what happened.
“The cast are earning more than the executive producers, which makes it a very odd power balance, doesn’t it?” – Ross Kemp
Ross was last seen in EastEnders last year after reprising his role of Grant for the farewell storyline of on-screen mother Peggy, played by Barbara Windsor. In recent years he’s more known for his hard-hitting documentaries on Sky1. This Sunday he’ll be seen on the channel fronting a sixth and final series of Ross Kemp: Extreme World.
“It’s great they haven’t killed Grant off. I’m very happy the Mitchell brothers are still alive and hopefully they will ride again at some point.”- Ross Kemp