Eastenders: Vanessa and Darren (Zöe Lucker and Charlie G. Hawkins) to leave?

EastEnders stars Zöe Lucker and Charlie G. Hawkins are to bow out from the soap later this year, according to reports.

Zoe, who plays Max Brannings (Jake Wood) love interest, and Charlie, who has played the role of Darren Miller for seven years, will film their final scenes in the next few months, to be shown in the summer.

Darren’s departure has been kept very closely under wraps, but Vanessa’s exit is reported to be explosive.

Vanessa was brought in as a love interest for Max when his ex wife, Tanya (Jo Joiner) left him, but since the pair shared a kiss on her wedding day to Greg, it has caused the rumour mill about a reconciliation into over drive, so could this be part of the exit storyline?

Confirming Lucker’s departure, a show spokesperson told DS: “Zöe was brought into EastEnders for a storyline playing Max’s love interest and will go out with a bang. Zöe has done a fabulous job of bringing the character of Vanessa to life and the door has been left wide open for her return.”

A Walford insider added: “Vanessa has proved to be a popular character and although her exit storyline will be explosive, there is every belief that she may return to the Square in the future.”

Speaking of his departure in a statement released by the BBC, Hawkins commented: “I’ve enjoyed my time at EastEnders immensely, it’s been a terrific chapter in my life and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“I’ve had tremendous support throughout my duration on the show and I would like to thank Bryan and the whole team for believing in me.”

The big question is, with her mum and fiance both said to be leaving around the same time, what will remain for Jody Gold (Kylie Babbington)?