EastEnders got off to an explosive start this year, which saw conman Ray Kelly killed off by his own stepson, Hunter Owen, in dramatic scenes. The troubled teen was protecting his mum, Mel Owen – who was being strangled by her new husband in a woodland showdown, but in true soap fashion, it won't be long before the killer gets caught. A spokesperson for the show confirmed that actor Charlie Winter will soon be leaving the soap, telling Digital Spy: "We can confirm Charlie Winter is leaving and wish him all the best for the future." Whether or not Hunter leaves Walford in a police car after confessing to his crime, or if a more sinister ending is in store is yet to be seen, but all will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.
EastEnders star Charlie Winter will be leaving the soap
Charlie has yet to speak out about his departure, but has been promoting his debut single, Cheeky Chappy Flow, under the name Chaz. Over the past few weeks, the actor has been posting preview footage of his music video, which he uploaded onto YouTube just before Christmas. Fans have been showing their support for Charlie since hearing that he will be leaving EastEnders, with many commenting on his recent Instagram posts. One wrote: "Just read you won't be renewed on EastEnders! You are phenomenal. Can't wait to see where you go from here!" Another said: "Can't believe your character is leaving EastEnders," while a third added: "Sad you're leaving EastEnders."
MORE: Ruth Langsford says she feels rejected by Strictly Come Dancing pros
Charlie with his EastEnders co-star Jamie Borthwick
READ: Noel Edmonds denies running away to New Zealand
Fans can expect to see a number of changes on the BBC One show, with new producer Kate Oates promising some huge storylines in store for 2019, including the return of popular character Lola Pearce. At the EastEnders Christmas press event, Kate teased: "It's going to be a big year for the Slaters. Jean's going to have a bit of a new challenge coming her way, but she may find that it's the best thing that ever happened to her." She added: "We're also going to be playing of that amazing love triangle that Keanu Taylor has fallen into. It's really messy. Sharon does not know what she's unleased, but maybe she won't be the one who ends up with his heart, so we'll see how that ends up."
EastEnders in 60 seconds
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.