EastEnders star Lacey Turner is taking time off from the soap, we can reveal.
The 32-year-old, who plays fans’ favourite Stacey Fowler, will have an extended period off later this year.
A show insider said: “Lacey will be taking a break. The top bosses agreed to give her some time off from the show.”
Producers are now deciding how they will write Lacey out of the soap – and are said to be considering an explosive exit.
Our insider added: “This is a great opportunity for the writers to come up with something big for Lacey to get her teeth into.
“She has always been a big hit with fans. There is no doubt they will really miss her while she’s off screen.”
Lacey is said to have no plans to quit her role as Stacey – who is part of the Slater clan – for good.
Insiders say she has “every intention” to return within a year.
EastEnders has been hit by an exodus of talent in recent months, with some of its biggest stars leaving the show.
Earlier this year June Brown quit as Dot Cotton after 35 years.
We then revealed how Adam Woodyatt was taking an extended break from playing Ian Beale.
Last week, the show suffered another blow when Jake Wood said he was quitting his role as Max Branning.
Revealing that he is looking forward to life away from Walford, he said: “I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds.”
EastEnders was also thrown into chaos earlier this year by the pandemic.
It was forced off-air for the first time in its history.
The soap has now returned to screens but episodes have had to be slashed to just 20 minutes because filming is more difficult under social distancing rules.
Representatives from EastEnders had made no comment over Lacey’s plans to take a break last night.