EastEnders actress Tilly Keeper has announced her departure from the BBC soap after four years of playing Louise Mitchell. The 22-year-old is set to bow out of her role in dramatic fashion in the New Year, following explosive events at Christmas which will see her devastated by the news that her boyfriend Keanu Taylor had an affair and a baby with stepmum Sharon Mitchell. Tilly confirmed the news in a statement to HELLO!, she said: "I have loved playing Louise Mitchell over these past few years, and I feel honoured to have been part of such an iconic show. Working with our incredible cast and crew has been a joy and I shall miss my EastEnders family greatly."
Tilly Keeper has played Louise Mitchell for four years
Executive producer Jon Sen added: "Tilly has been an incredible asset to the EastEnders cast and a wonderful company member. Her portrayal of Louise Mitchell over the past years has been a joy to watch. We wish her well in all her future endeavours." Tilly has played Louise since 2016, becoming the fourth actress to take on the role.
Speaking of her upcoming exit, a soap insider told HELLO! "It’s well known that Sharon and Keanu’s secret is set to explode this Christmas and as the truth finally comes out, the impact on the Mitchell’s will be huge. Bosses are staying tight-lipped about what is set to happen to all involved but it’s set to be an explosive Christmas."
Tilly isn't the only actress to step down from her role. Strictly star Emma Barton, who plays Honey Mitchell, will also be missing from screens come January as she is taking time away from the soap having confirmed her place on the Strictly Come Dancing live tour. Emma is set to travel across the country for around five weeks as she performs to live audiences with her fellow celebs. The 42-year-old has been partnered with Graziano Di Prima, rather than her current Strictly partner Anton du Beke, and will join the likes of Catherine Tyldesley, Alex Scott, Kelvin Fletcher and Saffron Barker on the road.
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Louise will discover her boyfriend Keanu had an affair and baby with her step-mum Sharon
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Emma isn't the first EastEnders star to take time away from the soap in order to participate in the Strictly tour. She will be following in the footsteps of both Jake Wood and Davood Ghadmi, who both took a break from Albert Square to perform with the Strictly stars.
The actress has previously spoken about how she juggles her Strictly rehearsals with filming for EastEnders, telling the Sun: “I guess there have been weeks at the beginning of the competition where we have had more time. You still want that extra day. You still want those few extra hours. You just have to work with what you are given,” she added. “I work really hard. Anton works really hard. I have said this before, I am on two of the biggest TV shows on the BBC. I’m a very lucky girl.”
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