One of the soap’s most popular stars has quit EastEnders.1ronnieAfter 9 years as Ronnie Mitchell, Samantha Womack has decided to leave. The BBC has confirmed she decided to go after new boss Sean O’Connor offered her an exit storyline. And sources said Sam “jumped at the chance” to go out with a bang.

An EastEnders spokeswoman confirmed: “Samantha has created an iconic character in Ronnie Mitchell. However, she was recently offered a big storyline which she happily accepted that leads to Ronnie departing Walford. We wish Samantha all the best for the future.”

Since her debut as Ronnie, Samantha’s character has been at the centre of some of EastEnders’ most tragic storylines. This includes two murders and the admission she was raped by her father Archie Mitchell.

Speaking to The Sun, an insider revealed: “It was felt that with everything Ronnie has been through over the past nine years, it is now time to rest the character. She already has a few projects lined up so she won’t be off screen for long.”