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Pam St Clement quits 'EastEnders': 'It's time to hang up Pat's earrings'

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Pam St Clement will leave EastEnders later this year, the BBC soap has announced.

The much-loved actress will depart her role as Pat Evans after 25 years. Details of how St Clement, who is currently the second longest-serving cast member after Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale), will bow out are not yet known.

"I have enjoyed 25 and a half wonderful years in EastEnders creating the character of Pat but feel it's time to hang up her earrings," the 69-year-old said. "Leaving the EastEnders 'family' will be akin to a bereavement, but I'm looking forward to the other work and life opportunities that I will have the time to pursue."

> Barbara Windsor, Patsy Palmer lead Pam St Clement 'EastEnders' exit tributes

Pam St Clement

© BBC



Bryan Kirkwood, EastEnders' executive producer, commented: "In Pat Harris-Beale-Wicks-Butcher-Evans, Pam St Clement has created one of the most iconic and loved characters in British TV history.

"Over the years we've seen her develop from a shrew into a matriarch, and Pat's colour, warmth and steel have given EastEnders some of its most memorable stories. Pam will be missed by everyone in Walford, and we wish her the very best of luck in everything that comes next."

Kirkwood added: "Although it's too early to talk about how Pat will leave the Square, we can assure viewers it will culminate in a fitting storyline, not to be missed."



> 'Enders Pat: 'Losing co-stars was hard'

Since arriving in E20 in the summer of 1986, Pat's storylines have included the paternity of her son Simon, her turn to prostitution, surviving the Walford attacker in 1987, the death of a teenage girl she knocked down, her ongoing battle against step-daughter Janine and the affair with Patrick Trueman.

However, Pat - famed for her large earrings - will be best remembered for her romance, marriage and affair with car dealer Frank Butcher, played by the late Mike Reid.



"It's always a sad day when one of our stars leaves EastEnders but when those stars are as important as Pam St Clement and the character as iconic as Pat 'Butcher', the blow is doubly hard," John Yorke, controller of BBC Drama production and new talent added.

"As part of EastEnders' 'creation myth', she has been integral to the programme's success from the very beginning; her love of Frank, her 'take no prisoners' nature and her earrings have made her a part of British culture."

Yorke concluded: "For most actors that would be legacy enough. The fact that Pam is also a total professional, an endless champion of the programme and a joy to work with is an added bonus."

> 'Enders Pat prefers surprising plots
> More EastEnders news and spoilers

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