Actress Pam St Clement, who plays Pat Evans, is to leave EastEnders later this year, the BBC has announced.
Pam has played the role for more than 25 years.
“I have enjoyed 25-and-a-half wonderful years in EastEnders creating the character of Pat, but feel it’s time to hang up her earrings,” St Clement said.
“Leaving the EastEnders family will be akin to a bereavement. But I’m looking forward to the other work and life opportunities that I will have the time to pursue.”
Pat’s most famous storylines includes her rocky relationships with Frank Butcher, and with her step-daughter Janine.
John Yorke, controller of BBC drama production, said: “It’s always a sad day when one of our stars leaves EastEnders, but when those stars are as important as Pam St Clement and the character as iconic as Pat Butcher, the blow is doubly hard.”