Page last updated at 09:20 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 10:20 UK

Actress Turner to quit EastEnders

Lacey Turner as Stacey
Stacey has been involved in many dramatic storylines

Lacey Turner, who plays Stacey Branning in EastEnders, is leaving the soap later this year, the BBC has confirmed.

The actress, who has been in the role for five years and collected numerous awards, said "the time has come to try something different".

EastEnders new boss Bryan Kirkwood has said the door will be left open for the character to return in the future.

Stacey's on-screen mother Jean, played by Gillian Wright, will also make her exit from Albert Square.

Confession

Turner, 22, said she has had a "fantastic" time playing her feisty character, which she called a "brilliant role".

Kirkwood added: "It's only right that someone as talented and versatile as Lacey should pursue new challenges and we wish her the very best of luck."

He promised a "typically dramatic Slater family exit" for Stacey and her mother.

Stacey and Bradley
Stacey and Bradley's relationship ultimately turned to tragedy

Stacey, who arrived in Albert Square in 2004 as part of the Slater family, has been involved in numerous dramatic storylines.

Her explosive time in Walford came to a head earlier this year when she confessed to being the killer of Archie Mitchell, moments after her husband Bradley fell to his death.

Stacey's on-off romance with Bradley was a strong theme throughout her time in Walford - the pair married on two occasions.

Her affair with his father Max destroyed their first attempt at wedded bliss.

Turner's character was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which her mother suffered from.

She also had the final dramatic moment in the soap's live episode to mark its 25th anniversary.

Earlier this month, EastEnders announced the departure of a number of characters, including Minty, Libby Fox and Danny Mitchell.

The soap's matriarch Peggy Mitchell, played by Barbara Windsor, is due to make her departure from Albert Square later this year.



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