Following last week's dramatic Queen Vic siege scenes, EastEnders' boss has revealed whether she ever considered killing off a long-standing character.
In dramatic recent scenes, Hunter Owen held a large number of Albert Square's residents in the Vic in a bid to get revenge on Jack Branning – though was killed off after being gunned down by police.
The soap's senior exec producer Kate Oates has now explained that she never intended to off a long-serving character alongside Hunter.
"No, I think, because we know what story the siege kicks off, it's about what comes next and where those stories lead," she told Digital Spy.
"So every one of those dynamics leads into another big story that propels us through months' worth of material, so losing anybody would have meant losing that. So no, it was the right balance for it."
She then joked: "I do love putting people in boots of cars! I have developed a reputation for that in story offices up and down the country, and I have no intention of losing that reputation. There will be more people in boots to come, and I'm not even sorry!"
Speaking previously about Hunter's death and how it will affect mother Mel, Kate said: "With Hunter's death, I think it's interesting to see what's next for Mel – the mother who has kind of spawned a monster.
"It's looking back at Mel and how she used to feel about Steve, for example, and Steve's mother. She used to look at that toxic relationship and blame it so much for the man it made Steve. And I think in her head, she vowed that she would never be like that."
EastEnders airs on BBC One.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest EastEnders spoilers, as Hunter's funeral sparks tensions and Linda faces a new problem.
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