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EastEnder Steve has a blast as he quits soap.

Byline: RICK FULTON EXCLUSIVE

THIS is the explosive finale to one of EastEnders most dramatic storylines as Steve Owen bows out of Walford in a blaze of glory - or does he?

Martin Kemp, who plays wide boy Steve, and Tamzin Outhwaite, his on-screen wife Mel, have decided to quit Albert Square.

Mel will be written out later this year but Steve's exit comes sooner and looks set to be the soap's most spectacular farewell yet.

It begins when the e20 club boss kidnaps arch-enemy Phil Mitchell's daughter, Louise, after persuading her mother, Lisa, and stepdad, Mark Fowler, to go to America with him and Mel.

With Phil in hot pursuit, Steve loses control of his car, it flips over and bursts into flames. Phil saves the baby but leaves Steve to burn.

However, Kemp, 40, who is defecting to ITV, wants to keep viewers guessing about whether Steve lives or dies. He said: "I'm not going to tell you that.

"But if you are going to leave EastEnders, the last thing you want to do is to go out in the back of a cab."

Since arriving in Walford in 1998, Steve Owen has been at the centre of a string of dramatic storylines.

He killed ex-lover Saskia and tried to frame Dan Sullivan after Phil was shot.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 19, 2002
Words:218
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