Actor Chris Parker, who plays Spencer Moon in EastEnders, is to leave the programme, the BBC has said.
Parker will last be seen in the show next year
The 21-year-old actor's last on-screen appearance will be in January, and the programme's writers are creating a storyline to explain his absence.
A BBC spokesperson said: "We'd like to thank him for his hard work and wish him the best of luck for the future."
Parker joined the soap opera two years ago with actor Shane Richie and the pair became popular with viewers.
But he has recently been at the centre of newspaper speculation about his private life.
The BBC refused to comment further on the circumstances surrounding his departure.