EastEnders confirms SHOCK exit for Laila Morse as Walford icon Big Mo

A grieving Stacey Fowler is comforted by Mo after hearing about Kat's death
(Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

EastEnders favourite Laila Morse is leaving the soap after two decades...

EastEnders has confirmed that Laila Morse's beloved character Big Mo will be leaving the soap after more than 20 years in Walford.

Big Mo arrived in Walford along with the rest of the Slater family back in 2000 and has become a much-loved part of Albert Square ever since.

Big Mo at the kitchen table with the Slaters in EastEnders

Laila has been causing mischief in Walford as Big Mo for the past 20 years (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

The shock news was announced by the Daily Star, with claims that BBC bosses have decided not to renew Laila's contract now it has came to an end.

A source reportedly told the newspaper: "Laila is leaving the show. Her current contract is coming to an end and execs agreed this was a good time to write her out."

More: Lacey Turner - things you didn't know about the EastEnders star

This isn't the first time that Laila has left the show, with her character being known for dropping in and out of the soap over the years.

EastEnders Slater family celebrate at home

The Slater family will miss having their matriarch around (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Since originally arriving in Albert Square more than 20 years ago, Big Mo has become loved for her comedy storylines that often see her causing mischief in some sort of money-making scheme.

Could her shady dealings be what causes her to depart Walford this time?

She'll be back

While we will see Big Mo make her departure from the show by late spring, it has been revealed that the iconic character won't be killed off.

The source added: "It hasn't been decided how Big Mo will leave. But it is unlikely to be too explosive and she definitely won't die."

EastEnders Shirley Carter Kat Moon Mo Harris and Stacey Slater

EastEnders insiders have revealed that Big Mo won't be killed off and is likely to return in the future (Picture: BBC)

The character will be departing our screens in the coming months, but it has been hinted by BBC insiders that this isn't the last we have seen of Big Mo.

A BBC spokesperson told the Daily Star: "Just like many occasions before, Big Mo will be departing Walford.

"But, as always, she'll no doubt be back in the not too distant future."

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.