Ted Reilly will take over as Danny Dyer’s on-screen son later this year.
EastEnders bosses have recast gay character Johnny Carter – with actor Ted Reilly taking over the popular role previously played by Sam Strike.
Reilly will play the new version of Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright’s on-screen son when Johnny returns to from his travels later this year, according to The Mirror.
EastEnders boss Dominic Treadwell-Collins promised an exciting future for the character upon his return.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he teased.
New recruit Reilly has appeared in a number of television dramas – including Grantchester, Call The Midwife, Law & Order: UK, Casualty and Suspects, as well as several theatre productions.
He said: “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.”
Strike originally played the character from 2013 to 2014 – winning acclaim for a storyline that saw him come out to his father.
He recently spoke to Digital Spy about the recast, explaining that he wasn’t ready to return himself after leaving to pursue other acting projects.
He added: “I think it’s a great thing and that the character needs a facelift – and I wish whoever lands it the best of luck.”
Strike cited a “mixture” of reasons for his decision to quit, including a desire to branch out into acting and “try new things”.
However, he added: “I also didn’t really feel like at the time my character was necessarily needed in EastEnders.”