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EASTENDERS 'TOO RACIST' Axed star Gary slams the show's black drug-dealer stereotype.

Byline: EXCLUSIVE By NICOLA METHVEN, TV Editor

EASTENDERS star Gary Beadle accused bosses of racial stereotyping for turning his character into a drug dealer.

The actor, who has played lovable rogue Paul Trueman for four years, declared: "I hate the storyline, I'm really not happy about it.

"It's so unimaginative, full of stereotypes - black people and drugs, blah, blah, blah.

"Any scenes involving drugs, you can rest assured I hated filming them.

"I just knew Paul wouldn't do that - it's not his style.

"Once they started hanging my character so dramatically, I knew I'd made the right decision to leave."

Gary, 38, claims he quit to spend more time with wife Tanya and sons Louis-Rae,14, and Cassius, two.

He hopes to tackle more "ambitious" roles. He said: "In June, I went in and told the producer that I wanted to leave.

"She persuaded me to stay an extra six weeks to do a big final storyline. At first, I was chuffed."

But he was disappointed with Paul's departure on Thursday - led away by Andy Hunter's thugs after a huge drugs sting goes wrong.

"We know where he's going to end up - in the Thames with the cement boots on," said Gary. "I wanted to see his lips turn blue on screen - I'm a bit sad you don't see him die."

He says he would come back as Paul only if actress Charlie Brooks returned as evil, scheming Janine. Admitting that he is attracted to his former co-star, he said: "Maybe I'd come back if Charlie rang me, because she is my soft spot.

"The stuff between Paul and Janine was amazing and it was great to work with someone who you fancy but know you can't have. She'd say the same thing too - there was a special chemistry there."

Gary also lashed out at the stars over the poor performances which caused plummeting ratings.

He said most blamed others for their unpopularity, adding: "If I was being slagged off, I wouldn't blame the writers, like some of the actors have, I'd blame myself. I'd look at my own performance."

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ROGUE: As Paul
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2004
Words:355
Previous Article:LOVE-ROW SHARON QUITS SQUARE.
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