EastEnders has teased "plenty of explosive drama" for Danny Dyer's character Mick Carter ahead of his exit on the BBC One soap

It was announced over the weekend that the actor, 44, would be leaving Albert Square after nine years of playing pub landlord Mick.

And now the BBC One soap has teased that there is "quite some time" before Mick's exit and "plenty of explosive drama".

An EastEnders spokesperson told OK!: "Danny will be leaving EastEnders when his contract comes to an end later this year.

"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."

Elsewhere, a source told OK! that due to Danny giving plenty of notice it has given bosses time to plan a "huge storyline" with Kellie Bright, who plays Linda Carter, set to return "very soon".

They said: "Danny made the decision quite some time ago that he would leave the show this year which has given bosses plenty of time to plan a huge storyline for him.

"With Kellie set to return very soon, the Carters are going to be at the heart of some big drama this year."

While a friend of Danny's added to OK!: "Danny loves EastEnders but as an actor he feels the time is right to explore other roles.

"He’s incredibly grateful to the show and the opportunities it has given him and it wasn’t a decision he took lightly but after playing Mick for nearly 9 years he feels it’s time to give the character of Mick a rest.

"He’s not sure how they are going to write him out yet but he’s hoping that they leave the door open for Mick."

It comes as soap fans were left devastated over the news as they took to Twitter to admit they were "gutted" Danny would be leaving the BBC One soap.

One person said: "Naaaaa Danny Dyer is not leaving #EastEnders," followed by a crying emoji.

A different account put: "Noooo so sad Danny Dyer is quitting #EastEnders."

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Another follower commented: "Aww I’m sad to see Danny go. I like him. #EastEnders."

While a different soap fan added: "Gutted to hear Danny Dyer is leaving #EastEnders."

EastEnders continues on BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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