EastEnders' gay couple Syed and Christian to leave show
EastEnders cast members Marc Elliott and John Partridge, who play gay lovers Syed Masood and Christian Clarke, are to be written out of the BBC One soap.
Partridge joined the show in 2008 while Elliott joined the following year.
Elliott said his time on the series had been "brilliant", adding he was pleased at how it had addressed "the sensitive subject matter of being a gay Muslim".
Partridge echoed those sentiments but said that "leaving at the same time as Marc felt like the only thing to do".
"I have had the time of my life at EastEnders but I have always gone with my gut," said the musical theatre performer, who appeared as a judge on the BBC's Over the Rainbow talent show.
"It is the right end to the story, and for Christian. But also, excitingly, the start of a whole new chapter for me."
"As an actor you are always looking for new challenges," continued Elliott.
"I feel that now is the right time to move on and explore different projects, perhaps returning to my roots in theatre."
It is not yet known how Elliott and Partridge's characters will come to leave Albert Square.