EastEnders’ Sid Owen ‘will not return to the BBC soap after pay disagreement’

EastEnders legend Sid Owen, who is best known to fans for playing Ricky Butcher, will not reprise his hugely popular role in the soap, after reports claimed he had a disagreement with TV bosses regarding his pay.

The star was reportedly set to have an explosive return to the square, but had a certain expectation in terms of what he wanted to be paid by the programme.

Sid's figure did not align with what the BBC was prepared to pay him, The Sun reported.

Hardcore EastEnders will undoubtedly be rather disappointed that the actor will not return to play the loveable Ricky.

The news comes after his his on-screen sister Janine, played by actress Charlie Brooks, is set to return to her role after a number of years. To coincide with this, producers reportedly hoped to have Sid reprising his role too/

But due to the alleged disagreement regarding money, it appears as though Sid will not be returning.

Talking to The Sun about the situation, a source claimed: "Sid was in advanced talks to return to EastEnders earlier this year. Bosses thought it was an ideal time for him to go back to Walford as his on-screen sister Janine has been written back in.

"Obviously Sid jumped at the chance but when they started talking about cash things hit a rut. Sid’s expectations for pay were well out of sync with what the BBC were willing to give him.

"His character is an Albert Square stalwart and having Ricky back in Walford with Janine would be a dream come true for scriptwriters. But all talks of a comeback have been pulled and Sid is back to square one."

Daily Star has contacted the BBC and Sid's spokesman for comment.

From 1988, Sid played an integral role in EastEnders until his last appearance in 2012.

During his 24 years, Sid had taken breaks from the show and decided to leave in 2000. He later returned in 2002 but then left again two years later. The star returned once more for a third and final time in 2008.

When he left in 2008, Sid declared that he would "never be back" on the soap.

In 2012, the soap star claimed he had packed in acting altogether and was now retired.

Speaking frankly to The Sunday Mirror at the time, Sid explained: "I've retired. I'm now living permanently in France, where I have been on-and-off for the last ten years, and I'm running my restaurant.

"I haven't quite made my ­millions but I'm happy doing that and I'll never be back."

He added: "I'm done with the UK and I hope that you will never see me on your TV screens again ­because I'm done and I've ­retired. I much prefer the ­lifestyle I have now."

  • BBC
  • Eastenders

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