Actress Wendy Richard leaves Eastenders after 21 years...

Miserable Pauline Fowler will leave EastEnders this Christmas.

Actress Wendy Richard, who’s played the square’s battleaxe for more than 21 years, appeared in the show’s first episode in February 1985.

And BBC insiders have revealed her last outing as Pauline will be part of a blockbuster storyline with rumours circulating that she will be killed off on Christmas Day.

Wendy Richard’s agent has denied that the star, who has battled breast cancer twice and is currently having treatment for a stomach ulcer, is leaving due to ill health. He said: ‘There have been no arguments and quarrels. Wendy just thought it was time to move on. She got to the point where she thought,”How much further can I go with this role?” She resigned but agreed to stay on for the Christmas storyline.’

Wendy, 63, said: ‘Nothing lasts forever. I’ve loved minute of being part of this fantastic show and will stay in touch with the many friends I’ve made.’