Actor Matt Lapinskas to leave EastEnders after less than a year in the BBC One soap.

Lapinskas plays Anthony Moon in the BBC One soap but will bow out later this year after being dropped the cast. Anthony Moon arrived in Walford to help his father Eddie (David Essex) with a squatter by pretending to be a member of the council. After helping out his family Antony decided to remain in Walford and it was soon revealed he had a gambling addiction.

I’m having a fantastic time working on EastEnders and playing the role of Anthony Moon. Working with David Essex, Tony Discipline and the EastEnders cast has been an absolute pleasure.  Although I will really miss EastEnders and everyone involved, I am very excited about future projects and what is next for me as an actor. – Matt Lapinskas quoted on Digital Spy

The departure of Lapinskas from EastEnders places a question mark over the future of Tony Discipline who plays his on-screen brother Tyler Moon. EastEnders has come under criticism in recent months for the number of young characters in the cast and for concentrating on them too much. Producer Bryan Kirkwood stepped down amidst the criticism and reports of declining ratings.

The soap has also been dealt several blows in recent weeks with several actresses announcing they are taking breaks from the series. June Brown, Lindsay Coulson, Patsy Palmer and Charlie Brooks are all temporarily leaving EastEnders while its been reported that actress Jo Joyner will leave the soap next year on a temporary basis. Earlier this year Jessie Wallace took a three month break from the soap.

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