Danny Dyer has confirmed he will be leaving EastEnders after nine years in the shoes of Mick Carter.
Dyer has faced many a challenge as Mick, including his wife Linda's harrowing battle with alcoholism and dealing with the trauma of childhood abuse.
Sadly, it looks like Mick's time in Walford is up, and though the details about when and how he will be bidding goodbye to the soap have yet to be revealed, the actor himself has explained his reasons for leaving.
Read on for everything we know about Dyer's EastEnder exit.
Why is Danny Dyer leaving EastEnders?
During a chat with daughter Dani on their Sorted with the Dyers podcast, Danny explained why he was leaving the soap, making sure to stress that he would like to leave the door open for a potential return in future.
"Let me tell you something – Mick's exit is going to be a very, very powerful thing. I would love the door to be left open, and as far as I know it is," he said. "So who knows. When I go out there and I fail miserably I can come back with my tail between my legs and go, 'Will you take me back?'"
The actor also denied claims he had signed a million-pound deal with Sky during the same chat. "The big news is I've decided not to renew my contract," he explained. "That's all. That's not because I've fallen out with anybody – I love everybody. That job has been amazing for me. It's an important part of television. I'm grateful for the beautiful years I've had there. I'm going to miss the people massively. It's me taking a risk."
He stressed: "There's no big story around it, really. Other than the fact I've decided to go off and try some other stuff. I'm 44 now, and I've had nine years of playing Mick and I think he needs to be rested. I'm still looking for that defining role. Maybe it is there, maybe it isn't. But I've always been quite ambitious and I had quite a long career before I went into EastEnders.
"I know the landscape has changed slightly but I want to go out there and have another go, and the only way I can do that is if I decide to walk away from the job."
When is Danny Dyer leaving EastEnders?
It's unclear at this stage when exactly Danny Dyer will be leaving the soap, but we do know his exit is set to take place later this year.
A spokesperson said in a statement that Dyer would be leaving "when his contract comes to an end later this year".
It continued: "Danny has made Mick Carter an iconic character which we shall always be grateful for, however we won't be saying goodbye just yet as there's still quite some time – and plenty of explosive drama for Mick – to come before he departs Walford."
Considering he recently split from Linda and went through a pretty rough Christmas, we don't doubt it.