EastEnders pals Jodie Gold and Poppy Meadow are leaving Albert Square

The girls – played by Kylie Babbington and Rachel Bright – have been written out of the soap following the departure of Jodie’s mum Vanessa and boyfriend Darren Miller. The pair will be seen on screen for the last time next month.

It has also been confirmed that It Ain’t Half Hot Mum star George Layton – who plays Pat’s new love interest Norman Simmonds – is leaving EastEnders, and won’t appear in the soap again after Thursday’s episode.

Kylie joined EastEnders last summer and her contract has now ended.

Rachel joined the soap as Jodie’s ditzy best friend Poppy in January, and has appeared on and off alongside her pal, as the pair injected some humour into the famously gloomy soap.

An EastEnders spokesperson said: “Since the departure of her mum and boyfriend Darren, it was felt the character of Jodie had come to a natural end and viewers will see her head off to look for Darren.

“Like Norman, Poppy had always been a supporting character, not a regular. However we may well see her return again in the future.”