Sid Owen has stated that he will not return to Eastenders in the future, having retired from the acting business.

The 40-year-old actor has portrayed the character of Ricky Butcher on the iconic soap for just under a quarter of a century, but tells the Sunday Mirror that that part of his life is over.

Viewers watched in June of this year as Butcher said a tearful farewell to his family, children and Albert Square after the wedding of his sister Janine.

"I'm done with the UK and I hope that you will never see me on your TV screens again ­because I'm done and I've ­retired" he said. "I much prefer the ­lifestyle I have now."

Owen added "I've retired. I'm now living permanently in France, where I have been on-and-off for the last ten years, and I'm running my restaurant",

"I haven't quite made my ­millions but I'm happy doing that and I'll never be back."

Owen was a popular character on the soap due to his long-running romantic storyline with Bianca (Patsy Palmer)