Eastenders star Patsy Palmer will leave the soap this autumn having played Bianca Jackson since 1993.

Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said in a statement, "We are so sad that Patsy has decided to leave us, but completely understand that it's the right time for her.

"Bianca won't be leaving Albert Square until the autumn, so there's still a lot more to come from her on screen this year – and the door will be left wide open for her return. We won't be getting rid of Bianca's puffa jacket just yet."

A spokesperson for Palmer added to the BBC, "Patsy is really sad to be leaving the show as she loves playing Bianca and working with Dominic. But she knows it's the right decision at this time in her life."

According to The Mirror, 42-year-old Patsy is planning to relocate to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. A source told the newspaper, "Not only is Patsy excited about future work in Hollywood, she is making the move for the sake of the whole family. It is a lifestyle choice for them.

"She has lots of exciting offers lined up and feels the time is right to say goodbye. Her children are at the age where they can be moved across to the States relatively easily. And it has always been her big ambition to crack Hollywood."