Albert Square is still mourning the death of one of its original residents, Michael Leader. Tuesday night's episode of EastEnders was dedicated to the memory of Michael, who had played Walford's milkman ever since the show first aired in 1985. He sadly passed away last month.
After the credits had finished rolling, a special memorial card appeared on screen, which read: "In memory of Michael Leader 1938 – 2016."
Michael Leader had played EastEnders milkman ever since the soap began in 1985
The tribute was applauded by EastEnders fans, who took to Twitter to pay their respects. "Lovely to see today's @bbceastenders ep dedicated to Michael Leader! Nice to know the extras are just as well thought of as the main cast #RIP," wrote one viewer. Another added: "Fitting tribute from @bbceastenders tonight in loving memory of the late and great Michael Leader. We'll miss you Michael, RIP."
The BBC announced the sad news that Michael had passed away at the end of August, as his co-stars rushed to pay their respects to their much-loved co-star.
In memory of Michael Leader - 1938 - 2016. pic.twitter.com/X44Um0AFHB
— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) September 13, 2016
The actor is sorely missed by his EastEnders colleagues, both past and present
"We were terribly saddened to hear that our dear friend and colleague Michael Leader passed away on Monday," the EastEnders team said in a statement. "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."
Danny Dyer, who plays Mick Carter in the soap, led the tributes on Twitter, writing: "RIP Michael my old son. RIP," followed by a series of heart emojis. Rita Simons, who stars as Roxy Mitchell, also paid her respects, tweeting: "RIP Michael. A legend and a gentleman."
Michael enjoyed a successful career outside of EastEnders too. He previously worked as an extra in Star Wars: New Hope, playing the Stormtrooper who infamously hit his head on a door in the 1977 movie. He also appeared in Doctor Who and Keeping Up Appearances.