Halfpenny, better known as ex undercover cop Kate Mitchell, is said to be "devastated" by the news. As many as thirteen other cast members could also get the chop within the coming months.
"Jill's contract has come to an end but that is no reflection on her as an actress," a BBC spokeswoman told The Mirror. "Producers just felt there was nowhere left for the character to go. She won't be killed off and the door will be left open for her to return."
Despite her soap sacking, Halfpenny won't be off screens just yet: the 29-year-old has signed up to appear in the next series of ballroom dancing show Strictly Come Dancing.