EastEnders character Johnny Carter will be played by Ted Reilly when he returns to Walford later this year.
“I’m truly delighted to be joining such an iconic show. The Carters are a fantastic family and I can’t wait to get started!” – Ted Reilly
Johnny is the son of Mick (Danny Dyer) and Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), whom Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins installed in the Queen Vic as part of his plans to revitalise the show. Sam Strike played the part for one year from December 2013, with show bosses announcing earlier this month that an actor was being sought to replace him.
“Johnny is a key member of the Carter family and he’s been missing over the past year and a half, when so much has happened to the Carters. As the family embark on their next big storyline to take them through 2016, it felt wrong not to have Johnny back to play a big part in that – and learn everything that has happened while he has been away… We have so much in store for Johnny and so many stories to tell and, after massive casting sessions and recalls with Danny and Kellie, we have found in Ted not only a brilliant actor, but the perfect Johnny Carter.” – Executive Producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins
Strike (right) won acclaim for the role thanks to a moving scene which saw Johnny open up about his sexuality to his father, with Mick immediately acceptant of his son being gay in contrast to Linda’s subsequent struggle with the news. The emotional father-son moment was recognised at the Attitude awards in October 2014 when the scene picked up the Media Recognition Award.
Other storylines saw Johnny shaken when his boss Sharon Mitchell (Letitia Dean) was attacked by thugs at her bar and take a brief shine to Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid). He was last seen heading out of Walford to travel, later hooking up with Italian boy Gianluca, with whom he’d had a short-lived romance during summer 2014. He missed the Christmas Day revelation that his mum, Linda, had been raped by Dean Wicks and the bombshell that Shirley is his grandmother.
“Johnny’s been having the time of his life in Italy but he’s been kept in the dark about all the drama that has unfolded at home. Now Walford bound, Johnny’s grown up and embracing life but is his happy bubble about to be burst by his family’s many secrets?” – BBC
Reilly’s other credits include Call The Midwife, Grantchester, and Law & Order: UK.
EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8.00pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One, with repeat screenings on UKTV’s W at 10.00pm. Viewers can also catch up online via BBC iPlayer.