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Vanessa and Darren to leave 'EastEnders'

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Vanessa Gold from EastEnders

© BBC

EastEnders stars Zöe Lucker and Charlie G. Hawkins are to bow out from the soap, Digital Spy can confirm.

The pair, who play Vanessa Gold and Darren Miller on the BBC show, will film their final scenes in the coming months ahead of on-screen exits later this year.

Vanessa has been tipped for an explosive departure storyline as her stint as Max Branning's latest love interest comes to a close, while details of how Darren's seven-year stay in Albert Square will end have yet to be revealed.

Confirming Lucker's departure, a show spokesperson told DS: "Zöe was brought into EastEnders for a storyline playing Max's love interest and will go out with a bang. Zöe has done a fabulous job of bringing the character of Vanessa to life and the door has been left wide open for her return."

A Walford insider added: "Vanessa has proved to be a popular character and although her exit storyline will be explosive, there is every belief that she may return to the Square in the future."

Charlie G Hawkins
Meanwhile, in a statement released confirming his decision to depart, Hawkins thanked the EastEnders team and executive producer Bryan Kirkwood.

The 20-year-old commented: "I've enjoyed my time at EastEnders immensely, it's been a terrific chapter in my life and I've loved every minute of it.

"I've had tremendous support throughout my duration on the show and I would like to thank Bryan and the whole team for believing in me."

Lucker, previously best known for her role as superbitch Tanya Turner in Footballers' Wives, has been with EastEnders for a year, while Hawkins has been part of the cast since late 2004.

DS can also confirm that Kylie Babbington, who plays ditzy Jodie Gold, is sticking with the soap despite the departures of her on-screen mum and boyfriend. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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