Tuesday 28 January 2020

EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell hints at ‘danger’ in Steven Beale

The BBC has confirmed Steven Beale will leave “following dramatic scenes” in the upcoming months.

Steven Beale and Max Branning (BBC / Kieron McCarron)
Steven Beale and Max Branning (BBC / Kieron McCarron)

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

EastEnders star Aaron Sidwell has said viewers will “start to see the danger” in Steven Beale, as his storyline with Max Branning hots up.

Sidwell, 28, confirmed yesterday that he was leaving the BBC One soap.

EastEnders actor Aaron Sidwell is leaving the soap (BBC)

He returned to the soap last year after previously playing the character in 2008, but explained in a Twitter post that he had only returned on a six-month contract and not a year-long one.

Sidwell told ITV’s Lorraine host Christine Lampard – who is standing in for Lorraine Kelly – that Steven will become “a puppet”.

Viewers have watched in disbelief as Steven has lied to Lauren Branning (played by Jacqueline Jossa) about having a brain tumour.

Lauren’s father, Max Branning (played by Jake Wood) and her sister, Abi, are  both conspirators in the brain tumour lie, with Max using the information to blackmail Steven.

Steven Beale and Max Branning (BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Talking about Steven and Max’s storyline, Sidwell said: “That’s a great dynamic that’s not fully come into play yet, and Steven’s very much been the manipulator and now he is becoming manipulated.

“I think we are going to start to see the danger there now, because he’s completely out of control of the situation, he was any way, but now he’s not even running the show… he really does become the puppet.”

Sidwell will be going on to star as Fiyero in a forthcoming Wicked tour across the UK and Ireland following his exit from Albert Square.

“The difficult thing to portray convincingly is, you have to rationalise it in your head because he will be able to rationalise it. He has a reason that he’s doing it,” he explained of his character Steven.

“Finding that as the actor is tough when you’re doing something like this because it’s such a big thing, but it is things people do unfortunately, and our job is to show the drama of real life, as unsavoury as it is.”

Sidwell revealed he had nearly signed up to join Wicked four years ago, but said of joining now: “When an opportunity comes up like that I just had to take it and it was the right time for me.”

During his long Twitter post on Thursday following news of his soap exit, he hit out at claims he was quitting the BBC soap “in protest”.

He wrote: “Whilst my storyline has been incredibly challenging given my personal situation, this has not lead to me quitting the show in protest.”

“I have always been lucky enough to have the support of the BBC and I respect them more than I can explain. I love EastEnders and everyone connected to the show with all my heart.”

The BBC has not yet confirmed exactly when Sidwell’s last scenes will air.

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