EastEnders star Jonny Labey to leave Paul Coker role

The actor exits after a year on the cast of the BBC1 soap

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Actor Jonny Labey is to exit EastEnders later this year and will take on a role in the theatre, RadioTimes.com can reveal.

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The decision to write out the character of Paul Coker was taken a while ago, but Labey has already secured the lead playing poet Rupert Brooke in new play Verge of Strife, which will be staged in Edinburgh this August.

Speaking today, an EastEnders spokesperson confirmed to RadioTimes.com: “We can confirm Jonny will be leaving the show later this year. We wish him all the best for the future.”

A show insider added: “Jonny is leaving in a couple of months as part of an explosive storyline. Bosses are keeping tight-lipped about what’s in store but there’s plenty of drama in store for Paul before he leaves.”

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Labey has featured on EastEnders since June 2015, with upcoming episodes set to see Paul and Ben (Harry Reid) go public with their romance. But the pair will face fresh heartache thanks to the objections of both Ben’s dad Phil and Paul’s gran Pam.

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.

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And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.