Why did Amanda Burton leave Silent Witness? Sam Ryan exit explained

Why did Amanda Burton leave Silent Witness? Let’s get the exit explained and consider what the actress did after playing Sam Ryan.

A promising year of television is already underway and January has delivered a number of highlights through broadcast and streaming.

On Tuesday, January 26th 2021, ITV audiences welcomed back Marcella to the screen at long last.

This British “Nordic”-noir series was written, directed and produced by Swedish screenwriter Hans Rosenfeldt (The Bridge) and first aired in April 2016. Fans are now working through its third season and acquainting themselves with the new addition of Amanda Burton as Katherine Maguire.

The 64-year-old Northern Irish actress will be familiar to Silent Witness fans as Dr. Sam Ryan from seasons 1 through to 8, having reprised the role across 9 years. Created by Nigel McCrery, the British crime drama began airing with Amanda in the role back in 1996.

Considering the show has run for a whopping 23 seasons and fans are anticipating more soon, some are wondering what made her give up the role. So, why did Amanda Burton leave Silent Witness?

still from Silent Witness, BBC et al., IMDb

Why did Amanda Burton leave Silent Witness?

  • After reprising the role from 1996 to 2004, Amanda Burton felt that it was “time to move on”.

This is highlighted by Entertainment Daily, which includes that ITV offered her “an offer she couldn’t resist” at this time to play Commander Clare Blake on The Commander, and she played the character for all five seasons between 2003 and 2008.

However, it’s also suggested that “clashes” with staff played a role in Amanda departing the series, although it’s noted that the staff were then dismissed from the project.

As for Sam’s fate in the narrative, it’s established that her character had to return home to Ireland after one of her family members became entangled in a murder case.

Emilia Fox then replaced her in the lead role and the Radio Times sat down with them in 2017 as they met for the very first time.

Looking back on her Silent Witness career, Amanda said: “It dominated my whole life… Sorry, gosh, it’s just brought back so many memories. It’s incredible, really. Yes, it was an amazing, amazing show. Really. Still is.”

However, she also addressed the negativity from critics as the show went on, which may also explain why she left after season 8

“They were very hard on me in that show. I had a very tough time… When it started, it was incredible, it was so well received. But over the years there was a lot of criticism, which affected me enormously.”

However, Amanda went on to land a wealth of roles after Silent Witness, so let’s consider her life on screen after Sam…

Amanda Burton: Roles after Silent Witness

We have already mentioned Amanda’s time on The Commander and her new role in Marcella.

She landed a number of roles on the small screen across the 2010s, starring in the likes of The Murders at White House Farm (she played June Bamber), The Level (Cherie Le Saux) and Waterloo Road (Karen Fisher).

It’s not all TV though, as she has also showcased her talents in such films as 2020’s Body of Water (Susan) and earlier efforts like Bronson (Charlie’s Mum) starring Tom Hardy.

In other news, is a Silent Witness season 24 release date confirmed?

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