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Jonny Labey is leaving EastEnders ‘in a couple of months’ in what is said to be ‘an explosive storyline’.

Jonny has played Paul Coker for a year, the grandson of Les and Pam Coker having arrived in Albert Square after backpacking around the globe.

Paul has been involved in a torrid, on/off relationship with Ben Mitchell, compromised by Ben’s unwillingness to admit he’s gay. The storyline climaxes next week when Ben kisses Paul in front of a big crowd in The Vic, with his homophobic dad, Phil, watching on.

An EastEnders spokesman told the Mirror Online: “We can confirm Jonny will be leaving the show later this year. We wish him all the best for the future.”

An EastEnders insider added: “Jonny is leaving in a couple of months as part of an explosive storyline… Bosses are keeping tight lipped about what’s in store but there’s plenty of drama in store for Paul before he leaves.”

Jonny tweeted his thanks for the support he’d received about his exit… ‘there’s still SO MUCH to happen for Paul so don’t lose hope, this is JUST THE START!’ he said.

EastEnders next screens tonight on BBC1 at 7.30pm.