SINCE EastEnders first catapulted on to our screens back in 1985, it has been the starting point for a whole host of young actors.
Not all child stars remain on the show, with many characters recast over the years – and here, we take a look back at what happened to some of our favourite Walford kids…
Maisie Smith (Tiffany Butcher)
Soap legend Maisie Smith made her debut in the Square in 2008 and did a six-year stint before leaving in 2014.
But it wasn’t the last viewers saw of her as she returned briefly for Whitney’s catastrophic wedding in 2016 before coming back for good in 2018.
Last year, Maisie also competed on Strictly Come Dancing, where she reached the final after wowing fans and judges with her impressive footwork.
Charlie Jones (Ben Mitchell)
With his iconic Lady Gaga dance moves, viewers loved Charlie Jones' version of Ben Mitchell between 2006 and 2010.
The character has since been recast twice, with Harry Reid taking over from Charlie, and Max Bowden currently starring as Ben after making his debut in 2019.
Charlie trained as an actor and fans were thrilled when they spotted him in BBC drama Noughts and Crosses.
Might EastEnders fans see him on a rival soap one day?
Brittany Papple (Louise Mitchell)
The role of Louise might have been snapped up by Tilly Keeper in 2016, but it was originally played by Brittany Papple.
Following her departure from the soap, Brittany trained at Millennium Performing Arts and graduated in 2017.
In 2018, Brittany revealed she was heading to Disneyland for a future as a dancer at the world famous park.
She still regularly updates fans on her life on social media, where she looks unrecognisable from Walford alter ego Louise.
Madeline Duggan (Lauren Branning)
Madeline Duggan managed to secure an iconic EastEnders moment during her time on the soap as Lauren Branning when she exposed Stacey and Max’s affair in the 2007 Christmas double bill.
Madeline shot to fame playing the soap character in 2006 and left in 2010, with Jacqueline Jossa taking over in a recast.
Since leaving her role on the BBC soap, Madeline has gone on to star in TV dramas including Silent Witness, The Tunnel, and The Smoke.
Last year she revealed that she was working part-time in a doctor's surgery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Megan Jossa (Courtney Mitchell)
Lauren Branning replacement Jacqueline wasn’t the first Jossa to step foot in Walford.
In 2006, her cousin Megan starred in the role of Grant Mitchell’s outspoken daughter Courtney.
After quitting the soap, Megan went on to appear in The Bill, The Take, and Coming of Age.
Melissa Suffield (Lucy Beale)
Melissa shot to fame playing Ian Beale's daughter Lucy between 2004 and 2010, and was just 11 years old when she joined the BBC One soap.
Lucy was recast after her departure, with Hetti Bywater taking on the role and the actress at the centre of the dramatic Who Killed Lucy Beale? storyline.
Melissa is now an Instagram influencer and regularly posts about body positivity and life as a new mum after welcoming son River last year.
THOMAS LAW (PETER BEALE)
Melissa's onscreen brother Peter Beale has also been recast, with Thomas Law leaving the soap in 2010 after four years.
Last month, eagle-eyed fans were stunned to spot the actor in ITV drama The Bay as the star continues with his acting career.
He also regularly wows followers with topless Instagram snaps of his ripped body.
The role of Peter Beale was initially taken over by Ben Hardy following Thomas' departure, but he left for Hollywood in 2015, starring in Oscar winning movie Bohemian Rhapsody, and X-Men.
Dayle Hudson was cast in the role last year and still appears on our screens as Ian's cunning son.
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