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EASTENDERS SACK TV TWINS; Tears as 2 Beale kids axed.

Byline: DAVID BROWN

CALLOUS EastEnders' bosses have axed the youngsters who play Ian Beale's twins.

Pretty Casey Anne Rothery, 10, and 11 year-old Joseph Shade are being replaced by more mature actors.

Casey Anne was last night said to be distraught after playing Lucy since she was three months old.

A friend of her furious family said: "It was a bolt out of the blue. She is devastated and has been in tears. To be booted out without any warning is a real kick in the teeth."

Casey Anne and Joseph (right) - who plays Peter - were given the news at a meeting with soap bosses earlier this week.

Her family friend added: "Casey Anne was told they were looking to mature her character and wanted someone older. Her family are appalled at the way she's been treated."

The youngster, of Mottingham, South East London, often commuted from the family's other home in Marbella.

The friend added: "She rang her dad in tears. He phoned soap bosses to complain and they admitted they could have handled things a lot better."

Casey Anne had a harrowing plot when Ian pretended she had cancer to pressure Mel Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite) into marrying him.

A BBC spokesman said: "Joseph and Casey Anne have done a fantastic job. They're written into EastEnders' history and everyone will miss them."
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2004
Words:223
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