Gillian Wright who plays Jean Slater on EastEnders is set to leave the BBC soap.

The 53-year-old has been on the show for eight years and is expected to start shooting her final scenes this week. She will appear on the show until October.

Wright said in a statement "It has been a huge privilege to play Jean Slater these last eight years.

"I treasure the viewer's care and love for the character not only through her hard times but through all the laughter too.

"I will miss EastEnders enormously, but it is time for me to step back and enjoy other acting challenges.

"I would love Jean to return to The Square one day, so let's hope this is not goodbye, but au revoir."

It is reported that Jean’s departure from the show is connected to the new character Ollie with whom Jean has developed a close friendship.

And no wonder - he presented her with some fresh rhubarb in the Queen Vic last night!