Actor Danny-Boy Hatchard is departing Albert Square as his character Lee Carter is being written out of EastEnders.
Danny-Boy has played Danny Dyer’s on-screen son in the soap since 2014.
A spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Danny-Boy Hatchard will be leaving EastEnders. Danny-Boy has been a great addition to the cast and we wish him all the best for the future.”
The news comes weeks after the soap confirmed actress Rita Simons will leave the show after nine years as Roxy Mitchell.
Earlier this year, Samantha Womack, who plays her on-screen sister Ronnie Mitchell, also confirmed she is departing.
An EastEnders source said: “This was a tough decision for bosses but sometimes to create big storylines characters need to come and go.
“Danny-Boy is an extremely dedicated and versatile actor as well as a hugely popular member of the cast, but with the story they want to play it takes Lee Carter to the end of his time in Walford.
“Although, as he is part of the Carter family, no one should rule out a return.
“Danny-Boy has openly said he only ever had a three-year plan so although this has come a little sooner, no one doubts he is bound to land another big role soon.”
All three departures have been engineered by executive producer Sean O’Connor, who replaced Dominic Treadwell-Collins this year, The Sun reported.
Danny-Boy confirmed on Twitter that he is looking forward to new opportunities.
Replying to a fan who expressed sadness he is leaving the series, he said:
Shane Glidden @RealShaneTurner
@danboy Hey Danny I know It’s Your Choice To Leave But Wen I Heard About It I Literally Started To Cry I miss you!?? pic.twitter.com/huxIZm6I8I
Danny-Boy Hatchard ✔ @danboy
@RealShaneTurner Chin up son, the best is yet to come ?❤️
11:35 AM – 21 Aug 2016