EastEnders star Danny Dyer is "on a short break" from the soap amid reports of exhaustion, but the BBC has said he will return to our screens as Mick Carter in the near future.
The actor, who has played the pub landlord since 2013, was reportedly ordered by bosses to stay at home, but a show spokesperson has denied that Dyer was forced to take time off.
A BBC statement said: "Danny is on a short break from EastEnders. This was not enforced by bosses, nor has he quit the show."
An insider had earlier told The Sun newspaper that "everyone [at EastEnders] is determined to get him back to his best".
Dyer's absence is sure to have caused havoc in the script department as he is the centre of many of the soap's major plotlines which are worked out months in advance.
He has won two National Television Awards for his role as family man Mick Carter and earns £400,000 a year, so no doubt bosses will be keen to have him back on set as soon as possible.
However, it might be a short-lived return as his contract is up in October and he has previously hinted he may leave Walford before the year is out.
Dyer said: "Four years is a long time. It's been really rewarding but there's other stuff out there.
"I'd love to show other sides to me, I loved theatre and all that."
Prior to EastEnders, Dyer was best known for appearing in British films Mean Machine and The Football Factory, as well as fronting his own TV series, Danny Dyer's Deadliest Men.