Harry Reid was "shocked" to find out "EastEnders" were recasting the role of Ben Mitchell - because he was told they wouldn't be doing so.
The 26-year-old actor - who played the character from 2014 until January 2018 - was informed by the soap's bosses that Max Bowden would be the sixth actor to take on the role, just one week before the news went public on Monday (21.01.19).
He said: "They told me that they were going to recast him about a week before it was announced.
"To be honest, I was shocked because I didn't expect that they were going to recast the role. I was told that they weren't going to recast."
However, Harry insists he wasn't "upset" by the news, but it does spell the end of his time in Albert Square, which he admits is "a shame" and "frustrating" because he loves the character.
He added to Digital Spy: "At the same time, it didn't upset me, which is what a lot of the fans are saying.
"This is business and this is the game that we're in. The acting industry is very cut-throat.
"I've said before that I didn't come into this industry to play one part, because I love exploring different characters" lives and personalities.
"All it's done is closed that door fully, whereas before it was half open. But doors do close and then other ones open.
"It is a shame and it is frustrating because I still love the character of Ben. For me he's one of the most exciting characters to play on the Square."
Harry has wished Max well in the role, but some fans have poked fun at the news after the character was recast for a sixth time.
Comedian Matt Lucas took to Twitter this week to joke he is "next week's Ben Mitchell".
He wrote on Twitter: "Thrilled to announce I'm next week's Ben Mitchell (sic)"