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8 February 2021, 09:24 | Updated: 8 February 2021, 09:31
EastEnders actress Laila Morse will be leaving the soap after two decades.
Big Mo actress Laila Morse has left EastEnders after joining the soap more than 20 years ago.
The 75-year-old will be leaving later this year after bosses decided not to renew her contract.
Laila has become an iconic addition to the Square after she first appeared on the show back in 2000 as the matriarch of the Slater family.
But a BBC spokesperson confirmed to RadioTimes.com: “Just like many occasions before, Big Mo will be departing Walford. But as always, she’ll no doubt be back in the not too distant future.”
It is not known when the actress will leave or what will happen to her character, but the Big Mo is set to return at some point in the future.
After taking a break from Walford a few years ago, Mo most recently returned in 2018 in an elaborate plot where she pretended her granddaughter Kat Slater had died.
Speaking about her latest departure, a source told Daily Star: "Laila is leaving the show. Her current contract is coming to an end and execs agreed this was a good time to write her out.
"It hasn't been decided how Big Mo will leave. But it is unlikely to be too explosive and she definitely won't die.
"Laila has had a few breaks over the years. Her character often comes and goes depending on the storylines.
"There is no set timescale in place for her to return. It's very difficult for producers to plan ahead because of coronavirus.
"The current pandemic has made things very difficult. But there is hope Laila will one day be back.”
This comes after it was recently confirmed that Davood Ghadami will also be leaving Walford as Kush Kazemi.
After joining the soap in 2014, bosses are planning a huge storyline for the actor in the next few months.
An EastEnders spokesperson told RadioTimes.com: “We can confirm Davood will be leaving EastEnders when his contract comes to an end next year. Davood has been a wonderful addition to EastEnders and we wish him all the best for the future.”
An insider also added to the publication: “Bosses have a huge plot planned, but although Davood was told in January, his departure is not for a very long time yet.
“In fact Kush will be on screen until well into 2021. It’s a shame and he will be missed by everyone at Elstree but sometimes the cost of having a big storyline means losing big characters.”