Anita Dobson 'glad Angie was killed off'

Rex Features

Anita Dobson has revealed that she felt relieved when her legendary EastEnders character Angie Watts was killed off.

Former Queen Vic landlady Angie died off screen in 2002 after suffering cirrhosis of the liver. She had not been seen on the BBC soap since Dobson's three-year stint ended in 1988.

Speaking to Radio Times, Dobson admitted: "When my agent rang me and told me that they were going to kill her off, I said, 'Good'. It was time. They had asked me so many times if I'd go back and I'd always said, 'Never say never', but realistically it was never going to happen."

The actress also recalled a memorable encounter that she had with EastEnders' late co-creator Julia Smith in the '80s after approaching her because she wanted to quit the show.

Recalling the moment when she handed in her resignation, Dobson commented: "[Julia] stuffed it in a drawer and said we could talk at the end of the contract. She asked me, 'What makes you think you can be more famous than the series?'

"I explained that wasn't it. The series made me, but I just felt I wanted to do other things. I've never been one to stay ages at anything. It's like parties - do not be the last one to leave.

"I wanted to stay another year. They said it was two or nothing, and it was too soon to leave. I felt I hadn't fully explored Angie so I agreed to another two years. Maybe if they'd said, 'Go off, do a couple of plays and come back', I would have done that, but it was never an option."