After it was revealed earlier this month the character of Johnny Carter would be returning to Eastedners later in the year following a re-cast, the BBC have announced that up-and-coming actor Ted Reilly will be taking over the role of the Carter clan's youngest member.
Orginally played by Sam Strike, Johnny arrived on Albert Square in December 2013, and the character's emotional coming out storyline quickly went on to hand the BBC One soap Attitude’s Media Recognition Prize in 2014.
Sam Strike quit the role soon after over concerns that the character had "peaked too earliy", however, and viewers last saw Johnny in December 2014, when he departed the Square to 'go travelling' with his boyfriend.
Ted's casting was confirmed by The Mirror yesterday (February 16). His previous TV credits include Call The Midwife, Casualty and Grantchester, and the young actor certainly bears more than a passing resemblance to Johnny's previous guise.
Johnny Carter is his original incarnation under Sam Strike (l), and new actor Ted Reilly (r)
"I'm truly delighted to be joining such an iconic show", Ted said of his casting. "The Carters are a fantastic family and I can't wait to get started."
Executive producer Treadwell-Collins added: "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. After massive casting sessions and recalls with Danny [Dyer] and Kellie [Bright], we have found in Ted not only a brilliant actor, but the perfect Johnny Carter."
Sam Strike previously gave news of a re-cast his blessing, admitting he "wasn't ready" to return to Walford after leaving to pursue other acting opportunities.
"I think if they want Johnny back in the show it’s something they should definitely do", the 22-year-old said after news of the character's return borke. "I wasn’t ready to return any time in the near future."
He continued: "I hope they find lots for Johnny to do and give him lots of stories, and the new actor can have the adventure with Johnny that I would’ve liked to have before he became stale."
Ted Reilly is expected make his onscreen debut as Johnny Carter later in the spring.
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