EastEnders bosses have revealed that Ben Mitchell will be leaving Walford over the next few months.
The long-standing character, who has been played by actor Harry Reid since 2014, has been axed by soap bosses after being involved in several central storylines over the last few years, including coming out to his family and the death of his former boyfriend Paul Coker (Jonny Labey) in a homophobic attack.
The character was also involved in an infamous gay sex scene in a funeral parlour in the presence of a corpse, which was later cleared by Ofcom after attracting complaints from viewers.
According to Digital Spy, Ben's exit will be part of a shocking storyline in the lead up to Christmas.
However producers are remaining tight-lipped about the exact nature of the storyline and the reasons for the character's exit.
The news comes after an announcement that fellow long-standing characters Lauren and Abi Branning, played by Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald respectively, have also been axed from the show as part of a shake-up by bosses.
Harry Reid is the fifth actor to take over the role of Ben, who has appeared on screen on and off since the charatcer's birth in 1996.
The character has been played by Matthew Silver, Morgan Whittle, Charlie Jones and Joshua Pascoe over the course of more than 20 years.
EastEnders continues on Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.