EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has axed four characters from the BBC1 soap.
Kirsty Branning (Kierston Wareing), AJ Ahmed (Phaldut Sharma), Carl White (Daniel Coonan) and Poppy Meadow (Rachel Bright) are to exit the show in the New Year and will film their final scenes before Christmas.
Their departures follow news, announced on Sunday, that Jasmyn Banks (who plays Alice Branning) will be leaving later in 2013.
A spokesperson for EastEnders said: “We can confirm these actors will be leaving EastEnders. We wish them all the best.”
An insider told the Sun newspaper: “Dominic didn’t feel the characters who are leaving fit with the direction he is taking the show so he quickly decided to write them out.
“He has only been in a month but he is already making big changes. He knows what he wants for EastEnders and is putting plans in place quickly. His arrival has gone down really well with the cast and crew and there is a real energy in the studios right now – even though some cast are scared they could be next for the chop.”
Treadwell-Collins, a former story editor who created the famous Who Killed Archie? whodunnit, took over as executive producer in July.
He recently cast two new characters who will make their debut in the coming months – comedian Terry Alderton is to play Bianca Butcher’s new boyfriend Terry Spraggan, while former Holby City actress Luisa Bradshaw-White is to play Shirley Carter’s sister Tina.