If you’ve been wondering where Walford resident Derek Harkinson has been, then wonder no more.
Derek hasn’t been seen on screen since the summer – and we probably won’t see him again either because there are no plans for him to return.
An insider told the Daily Star that Derek ‘left the show in secret over the summer’ and won’t be back as writers feel there’s nothing more to explore with his character.
The insider told the newspaper: “It has been decided Derek is no longer part of the show.
“Everyone loved working with Ian but the writers didn’t feel there was anything more they wanted to explore with his character.”
71-year-old Ian Lavender – who played friendly and harmless Derek on the BBC One soap – had made previous appearances, with his first on screen debut back in 2001.
Derek had been written back into the soap in 2016 when he directed the Christmas pantomime. That’s when he struck up his friendship with Johnny Carter.
EastEnders continues on BBC One.