Patsy Palmer has quit her role as Bianca Butcher for the second time!
Palmer, who was recently reported as saying how difficult it was to juggle EastEnders with her family life, first joined the show back in 1993, before quitting for similar reasons in 1999.
Her first departure came after her on-screen wedding to co-star Sid Owen (Ricky Butcher) brought in over 22million viewers, one of the shows biggest audiences ever, causing producers to leave a door open for her, which she took when she returned in 2008.
No official reason has been stated at this time for the 41 year-old actress’s decision to quit, but a spokesperson for Palmer has released a statement insisting that the star still loved the show, but that it was the right time for her to bow out, stating:
“Patsy is really sad to be leaving the show as she loves playing Bianca and working with executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins but she knows it’s the right decision at this time in her life.”
But fear not if you were worried that Treadwell-Collins would be using some of his Midsomer experience (Dominic Treadwell-Collins first TV job was to find new and imaginative ways to kill off victims in the popular ITV show) for Bianca’s exit, he has revealed that, yet again, the door would be left open for Patsy to return.
Instead of killing the star, who has also had several breaks from filming since her 2008 return, off Digital Spy has revealed that her character, mum of 4 Bianca, will be shipped off to Los Angeles with the rest of her family this autumn, with the site quoting Treadwell-Collins as saying:
“We are so sad that Patsy has decided to leave us but completely understand it’s the right time for her.
“Bianca won’t be leaving Albert Square until the autumn so there’s still a lot more to come from her on screen this year – and the door will be left wide open for her return. We won’t be getting rid of Bianca’s puffa jacket just yet.”
EastEnders continues tomorrow night at 7.30pm on BBC1 / BBC1 HD – Watch an interview with patsy Palmer in the clip below: