Shock for soap fans as THIS EastEnders favourite announces their unexpected EXIT

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EastEnders actress Jasmine Armfield has announced her departure from the soap...

It's a sad day for EastEnders fans as actress Jasmine Armfield - better known as Walford's Bex Fowler - reveals her decision to leave the soap after five years.

The actress, who has played Martin and Sonia Fowler's daughter since 2014, has reportedly already filmed her last scenes and will bow out on screen next month.

EastEnders - Bex Fowler

Jasmine Armfield has announced she is quitting her role as EastEnders' Bex Fowler (Picture: BBC/Nicky Johnston) (Image credit: BBC/Nicky Johnston)

Bex has been at the heart of some huge storylines over the last five years, most recently taking centre stage in heartbreaking scenes which saw her try to take her own life.

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Her decision to try her hand at something new comes shortly after her on-screen best friend Louise Mitchell, played by Tilly Keeper, also bowed out of the soap.

Speaking of her decision to leave EastEnders, Jasmine told The Sun: "I've had such a fantastic time playing Bex Fowler and have loved being part of EastEnders, but now feels like the right time to try something new.

EastEnders Louise Mitchell with Bex Fowler

Bex and best friend Louise Mitchell will be departing Walford just weeks apart (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

"I've made friends for life working on the show and shall miss them all."

EastEnders Executive Producer Jon Sen added: "It's been an absolute pleasure to work with Jasmine. She's brought something incredibly special to the role of Bex and we will all miss her - both as a friend and colleague. We wish her the best of luck for the future."

With Bex's departure from Walford airing next month, could this mean she is the one to meet a watery death as the soap celebrates its 35th anniversary with a boat party?

EastEnders Bex talks to her mental health worker

Jasmine has been at the heart of some huge storylines as Bex Fowler (Picture: BBC)

It has been revealed the soap will be killing off a main character as Walford residents party on the Thames in special episodes... and it has already been hinted by EastEnders bosses that the Fowler family will be playing a key role in the soap's birthday celebrations.

Let's hope Bex has packed her life jacket for the party...

EastEnders airs Monday and Friday at 8pm and Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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 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.