Michael French (David Wicks) is leaving Eastenders

Michael French is to leave 'EastEnders'.

Michael French (David Wicks) is leaving Eastenders

Michael French is to leave 'EastEnders'.

The actor, who plays David Wicks, will bow out of the BBC One soap later this year but bosses are keeping the star's exit storyline tightly under wraps.

According to Digital Spy, Michael only signed a short contract to reprise his famous role last year, but agreed to extend his deal when new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins took over the show earlier this year.

Viewers have seen David planning his wedding to long-term love interest Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) in recent months and the couple are expected to tie the knot later this month.

However, David's recent kiss with Nikki Spraggan (Rachel Wilde) has come back to haunt him as the vivacious blonde has been trying to lure him away from Carol.

Michael originally starred on 'EastEnders' from 1993 to 1996. He later returned in 2012 for on-screen mum Pat Evans' final episodes, and rejoined the soap full-time in September 2013.

While the 51-year-old actor is set to exit Walford, fan favourite Jean Slater, played by Gillian Wright, is coming back for a short stint to support her daughter Stacey Branning (Lacey Turner), who awaits trial for the murder of Archie Mitchell.

Gillian said: "I feel very honoured to be asked to reprise my role as Jean Slater, for a short while. The storyline promises to be challenging and exciting! I look forward to playing again with old friends and new and to pick up the special relationship between Stacey and Jean."

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