Bad news for fans of Albert Square nice guy, Derek Harkinson – it appears he has left Walford forever.
Yes, it seems he has gone, never to be back – and never to do a proper goodbye.
Grrrr, so much for character closure!
Actor Ian Lavender had played the role – Pauline Fowler’s friend – since 2001.
“It has been decided Derek is no longer part of the show,” reports the Daily Star Sunday.
“Everyone loved working with Ian but the writers didn’t feel there was anything more they wanted to explore with his character.”
What a shame!
Still, fans of the soap have Christmas to distract them, with Jake Wood teasing one of the most epic festive outings ever, as his character is send to go on a murderous, psychotic rampage.
Max Branning’s revenge plan was left in tatters last week when James Willmott-Brown turned on him and left him without a penny from the Walford resident he had scammed.
So now, faced with absolute ruin and with even his family having turned their backs on him, Max has only one option – murder.
“Max goes on a murderous, psychotic bender – but it’s just another day at work, really,” actor Jake told The Sun.
“It is all coming to a head and hopefully, in years to come, it will be seen as one of the best and most iconic Christmas episodes ever.”
Viewers have seen Max exposed for his scheming by Charlie Cotton, forcing his brother Jack to kick him out onto the streets.
And now Max has decided to try and kill both Ian Beale and Phil Mitchell for their parts of framing him for Lucy Beale’s murder.
Jake previously said: “When I was reading the Christmas scripts the only way I could make sense of what Max was doing was that he was having a psychotic episode.
“He’s reached pretty much rock bottom and he’s a dangerous man, because he has convinced himself that he has absolutely nothing to lose.
“To my mind, this is Max at his lowest ebb — and he’s capable of murder, 100 per cent.”
Could this Christmas see the end of Ian Beale? It’s not sounding good for him.