A Peterborough man who became the first ever regular disabled actor to take up a role on EastEnders, has been axed from Albert Square.
David Proud, from Whittlesey, was told he will be written out of the show last week – seven months after hitting television screens across the country as Adam Best on the hit BBC soap.
The 27-year-old, who suffers from spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, is one of six characters who will be phased out in the coming months.
Today, confirming his departure from the show, David said: “I have had a wonderful time at EastEnders and loved every minute of it.
“It has been fantastic to play such a complex character like Adam. I have made some great friends amongst the cast and crew and wish the show all the best for future.”
The news has been met with surprise by Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH), whose national head office is based in Park Road, Peterborough.
David has been a patron of the charity since being asked back in September.
A spokesperson for the charity said: “It’s a surprise. He’s made a name for himself, certainly in Peterborough and he is a passionate campaigner for ASBAH.
“He comes along to our events and he’s always been there when we’ve really needed him.
“He has a very good track record and he has a wide range of talent. I’m confident he will be back on our screens once again shortly.
“David is someone that we should all be proud of.”
Characters also believed to be in line for the axe are cabbie Charlie Slater, played by Derek Martin, Minty Peterson, played by Cliff Parisi and Libby Fox, played by Belinda Owusu.
Liam Bergin, who plays Danny Mitchell and Liz Turner, played by Kate Williams, are also said to have been given the chop by Eastenders’ new executive producer, Bryan Kirkwood.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “It’s sad to see characters leave the Square but obviously when a new executive producer like Bryan Kirkwood comes on board they’re always keen to refresh the show and make some changes.
“It’s the way soaps work, characters run their course and new characters come along.”
Before landing a part in EastEnders, David was one of four people to star in Special People, which mocks the industry’s perception of disabled actors.He also made an appearance as one of Billie Piper’s clients in the popular ITV2 Series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
He appeared in the second series as Blake, a disabled boy who turns to Belle for comfort.
The majority of his other roles have been a little less high profile – as a basketball player for the CBBC show Desperados and testing the political correctness in a BBC documentary called Is It Cos I Is Black.