Danny Dyer has led a host of tributes to EastEnders actor Michael Leader, who has passed away after 31 years playing Walford's milkman. Michael, who had appeared on the BBC soap since it first began in 1985, was clearly held in high regard by his co-stars both past and present, and many have taken to Twitter to honour their much-loved colleague.
"R.I.P Michael my old son. RIP," wrote Danny, who plays Mick Carter, adding a series of heart emojis. Rita Simons, who stars as Roxy Mitchell, also paid her respects, tweeting: "RIP Michael. A legend and a gentleman."
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Michael Leader, who appeared on EastEnders for 31 years, has passed away
Bonnie Langford (Carmel Kazemi) wrote: "Our lovely Michael. A true gentleman & 'old pro'. I'll miss you xx," and Ted Reilly (Johnny Carter) added: "Michael Leader was a man who made @bbceastenders more than a TV show. RIP to an Albert Square legend."
Former EastEnders stars have also taken to social media to honour Michael. Robert Kazinsky, who played Sean Slater until 2009, tweeted: "Sorry to see you go Michael, you were always a class act." And Danielle Harold, who starred as Lola Pearce until last year, commented: "RIP Michael. Such a lovely man and a true gentleman."
Danny Dyer led the tributes to the beloved actor
The EastEnders team confirmed the news of Michael's passing in a heartfelt statement. "We were terribly saddened to hear that our dear friend and colleague Michael Leader passed away on Monday," it read.
"Michael has been on the show since the very first episode and will be sorely missed by the EastEnders family, past and present. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are extended to his nearest and dearest."