Given the amount of drama, death and destruction we get in soapland these days, it's a wonder any of them ever survive to tell the tale. Two who unfortunately didn't make the cut in the last twelve months are EastEnders' Samantha Womack and Corrie's Les Dennis.
We had a chance to sit down with them both ahead of their new Addams Family show that has just hit the Bord Gais Energy Theatre to find out how they are doing with their new post-soap lives and how they felt about their perspective on-screen deaths.
While Les was only in Coronation Street for a couple of years and almost expected his character to be killed off (he did marry Gail after all), the news came as much more of a shock for Samantha Womack, who had played Ronnie Mitchell for almost a decade.
"For me, it did [come as a shock], Samantha told entertainment.ie."You never know when something like that is going to happen. Although the way they were writing her - I didn't see how she could go on - they kept writing one kind of insane episode after another and I was saying, unless I'm playing a psychopath, it's going to be very difficult to sustain this as a normal person."
For non-EastEnders fans out there, Ronnie had been through a hell of a lot. She had a long-lost daughter who died in her arms about twenty seconds after she realised she was her long-lost daughter, she was raped by her father Archie growing up, she had a baby with husband Jack only for the baby to die of cot death so she switched it with Kat and Alfie's newborn baby in one of the soap's most controversial plotlines - and that's not even the half of it.
"I kept kind of making attempts at saying, you know, can we normalise her for a bit and give her a rest but they just kept on going because of those ratings. Every time she lost a baby or did whatever, there was a spike and the tendency is to just keep doing it but of course, you then run the character into the ground, or into the swimming pool," she joked.
For Les Dennis, who played Michael Rodwell on Corrie from 2014 to 2016, it was a different story; "The writing was on the wall from the beginning in that he was going to marry Gail Platt so I wasn't going to last long. Although Helen [Worth] and I had a ball working together and I think that she deserved a nice time but they were never going to give that to her."
Les continued: "It's ratings, it's all that stuff. And so when it came, I was okay with it. At least I got a proper exit rather than just getting in a taxi and leaving."
"I'd rather have had the taxi," Samantha laughed.
"Although," she added. "The ending we did, the New Year's eve episode, no doof doofs, just two lifeless bodies, I mean it was pretty powerful TV."
Both agreed though that having no option to ever return has its good points. "If the door is open for you," Les said, "it's always tempting to go back but if you leave then you can commit to the projects you are going to do next."
Samantha and Les both made life-long friends from their days on the soap too, with Samantha still in contact with fellow co-star (and partner-in-death) Rita Simons, who played Roxy. "I think of her as my sister," she said. "I was her sister for ten years and we did everything together and we're very similar, I love the bones of her. I speak to her two, three times a day maybe."
While Les has remained in touch with a lot of the Corrie cast: "I was only there for 2 and a half years but I made some great friends. Sue Cleaver threw a surprise party for me and we had all my mates from the show, including Conor who plays Phelan, so we're all in touch and Helen has been to see everything we've done.
"They'll all come to The Lowry which is across the way from the Coronation Street set, well all those that aren't working on night shoots."
They will all be heading to see Les in The Addams Family Musical, which as we said, has just hit the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Les plays Uncle Fester while Samantha is Morticia Addams, two roles previously played by Christopher Lloyd and Anjelica Huston in the nineties movies, but of course The Addams Family goes back long before that, beginning as cartoon characters drawn by Charles Addams in The New Yorker in the 1930s and going onto many reincarnations on the small and silver screen.
So how much did Samantha and Les draw from previous interpretations of their characters?
"I used to watch it [the TV show] a lot coming home from school, it would always be on," said Samantha. "My kids watched the films, but we were more interested in going back to the Charles Addams New Yorker illustrations. That was Matt White, who directed it, which I think was very clever in taking it away from what we've seen and going, 'Well how did these characters start, where did they come from?'"
Les added, "The kids wanted to watch them [the movies] when they found out what I was doing, but I deliberately didn't look at what Christoper Lloyd did, although it's in my head anyway, but I wanted to bring my own Fester."
Both actors have plenty on the horizon too, and you can also catch Samantha Womack in the upcoming 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' where she reprises her role as Michelle Unwin, Eggsy's mother. Samantha was in good company too, with an all-star cast, although she couldn't tell us too much: "I can't say anything about the storyline, I'm not in it as much as the first one because I was committed to EastEnders unfortunately. They wouldn't let me go for scheduling so I did a few days, but one day I had with Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth and Elton John and it was just me and them in a church all day so that was a pretty cool day at work.
"I sat next to Halle and she was talking to me about how she wanted to be gymnast when she was younger and Jeff Bridges was taking photos of everyone. Elton John was singing and Channing Tatum was just in cowboy hat looking like Channing Tatum which was very distracting," she laughed. "And Colin Firth was lovely too. They are the nicest group of people. Anyone on that set was always so lovely and it was such a fun one to do."
You can catch 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' in cinemas in September but before that, get yourself along to The Addams Family Musical Comedy at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, where it runs until August 26th.