EastEnders actress Gillian Wright leaves show after eight years

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The actress has played Jean Slater for eight years

EastEnders actress Gillian Wright quits show after 8 years

© BBC Pictures

EastEnders actress Gillian Wright has revealed that she's leaving the show after eight years of playing Jean Slater.

The 53-year-old is said to be shooting her final scenes this week, with her last on-screen appearance airing in October.

However the star has admitted that she's asked the show bosses not to kill her off so she can one day return to the soap.

In a statement, Gillian said, "It has been a huge privilege to play Jean Slater these last eight years.

"I treasure the viewer's care and love for the character not only through her hard times but through all the laughter too. I will miss EastEnders enormously, but it is time for me to step back and enjoy other acting challenges."

She added, "I would love Jean to return to The Square one day, so let's hope this is not goodbye, but 'au revoir'."

Her departure comes after the recent announcement of the shows executive producer Lorraine Newman also leaving after 16 months in the position.

Gillian entered the soap back in 2004 and then became a regular on the show in 2007. Since then, she has won numerous awards, including 'Best Actress' at the 2012 Inside Soap Awards, for her portrayal of Jean, who suffers with bipolar disorder.

Are you going to miss Jean Slater?

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