Dominic Treadwell-Collins was "really sad" when the new 'EastEnders' producer killed off his "inventions" Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell earlier this year.
The 39-year-old producer - who ran the long-running soap for three successful years until he resigned in 2016 - was devastated when he found out his successor Sean O'Connor had decided to write the blonde sisters (played by Samantha Womack and Rita Simons) out of the programme in a dramatic drowning scene on New Year's Day (01.01.17) because he felt like they were his "children" as he introduced them.
Dominic - who has worked on the programme since 2005 in various roles - said: "The death of Ronnie and Roxy made me really sad. They were my inventions when I was story producer and I loved them. But when you leave, it's like putting your children up for adoption and watching somebody else bring them up.
"You're never going to agree with everything someone does and there were probably decisions I made that previous producers were sad about.
"You can't get over-emotional about these things because every producer has to make the show their own. You've got to support them and stand back."
Sean came under fire late last year when it was announced he had decided to re-cast Michelle Fowler (now played by Jenna Russell) but Dominic can see why he did it.
He explained: "I considered it when I first arrived and then decided against it at the last minute. I wanted Susan Tully (who played her originally in the soap) and she wouldn't do it because she's a director now. But she said that one day, she might sit in the corner like Lou Beale. So I thought, 'no, I'm just going to leave this alone'. But I understand why they've done it because Michelle has that rich history."
Although he found running the show exhausting, Dominic doesn't regret his time in charge because it was one of the most "amazing" times of his life.
He told the Radio Times magazine: "By the end, I was broken ... It was one of the most amazing things in my life. What I miss is having an idea and it being on the telly three months later and reaching all those people.
"But I'm glad I left while the party was at its peak. And my boyfriend saw me at the tail end and I don't think he'd let me go back there anytime soon. I was single for most of the time I was there and 'EastEnders' became my wife."