EastEnders star Steve John Shepherd is leaving the soap after three years in the role of Michael Moon.

The Mirror reports that bosses have planned a “nail-biting” exit, to air later this year, for┬áthe scheming character.

“I feel now is the time to move on. I have relished every minute of exploring his character – the good and the bad.

“I feel extremely privileged to have had this amazing experience and want to thank everybody – most importantly the fans of the show – for taking Michael and his numerous flaws into their hearts.” – Steve John Shepherd

Since his arrival in Walford viewers have seen Michael face the music of fathering a baby with his cousin Alfie’s wife; become obsessed with Jack’s wife Ronnie; and woo rich Janine (Charlie Brooks) whom he married and had a child with.

Michael is currently estranged from wife Janine after her trust issues built to a crescendo, causing her to run out on him and their daughter. The story facilitated a break from the show for actress Charlie Brooks who has returned to filming and will be back on-screen next month.

The soap’s boss Lorraine Newman has teased that Janine’s return will see “plenty of fireworks”.

Charlie Brooks as Michael’s wife Janine
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