Clare Perkins and Cornell S John are to leave EastEnders later this year.
The pair play Ava Hartman and Sam James and are expected to leave the BBC One soap at the conclusion of the Hartman family’s on-going kidney transplant storyline, according to Digital Spy.
Ava was initially introduced as the long-lost daughter of Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell) before moving to Albert Square with son Dexter (Khali Best).
Sam later arrived in the Square to make amends with Ava and Dexter having walked out on them when Dexter was a baby.
Last week, Sam confessed to being seriously ill and in need of a kidney transplant, and Dexter soon makes the life-changing decision to donate one of his kidneys to his father.
Digital Spy has learnt that the story always allowed for the exits of Sam and Ava.
The conclusion of the Sam storyline was planned many months ago. Since taking over last month, new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins is continuing the story as it was originally mapped out. – An EastEnders insider told the website
Dexter is expected to remain in Walford following their departures. EastEnders previously ventured into a similar storyline, ironically when the show was previously suffering a critical battering and dwindling ratings, with a kidney donation plot between two of the Ferreira brothers.
In Coronation Street Vera Duckworth donated her kidney to her grandson while in Crossroads Muriel Baines underwent the operation which lead to a fundraising campaign which saw ATV and Crossroads fund a kidney transplant unit in Birmingham.
Sam James and Ava Hartman are as interesting as The Ferreira family, yawn. – TV Critic Queenie