EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison is set to leave the soap after five years, according to The Mirror – and producers say her exit will be ‘dramatic’.
The 47-year-old, who plays Heather Trott in the show will be written out early next year – although show bosses have not said whether the character will be killed off or whether the door will be left open for a possible return.
“Heather’s character has been hugely popular over the years, but the decision has been taken to cut her out of the show before viewers tire of her,” an insider told the paper.
“Cheryl will leave when her contract comes to an end, but it’s set to be a dramatic exit which will see the character go out with a real bang.
“The storyline details are being kept firmly under wraps, but it will be a fitting end for a character after nearly five years.”
An EastEnders spokesman confirmed the actress would be leaving when her contract ended in early 2012.
Cheryl joined the soap as a guest character in 2007 but proved so popular with viewers that she became a full-time member of the cast.
Since then she has been involved in several major storylines, most notably becoming pregnant by Darren Miller following a one-night stand.
Offscreen Cheryl hit the headline earlier this year after marrying a Moroccan goat-herder 20 years younger than her, who she met in an Internet chatroom.