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EastEnders Laila Morse opens up about plans to move to Spain as she ‘quits’ after 20 years as Big Mo

‘It’s more a ”hasta le vista” than goodbye’: EastEnders’ Laila Morse, 75, reveals plans to relocate to Spain… after quitting the soap following 20 years as Big Mo

EastEnders star Laila Morse has spoken out about quitting the soap after more than 20 years as Big Mo, as she revealed she is moving to Spain.

The actress, 75, will be leaving Walford within weeks but said the door will be left open for her return to pop back ‘back now and again’.

She spoke about her plans to exit the TV show in an interview with Metro on Friday, and said her motivation to leave was to ‘spend more time in the sunshine’.

Leaving: EastEnders star Laila Morse has spoken out about quitting the soap after more than 20 years, as she revealed she is moving to Spain

She said: ‘I made the decision a while ago that I wanted to move to Spain so I let the team know that was my plan.

‘They said they would love to have me come back now and again when there was a need for Big Mo to return which was lovely to hear. 

EastEnders bosses reportedly agreed it was a good time for Laila to be written out of the show however, her character will not be killed off and the door will be left open for her return.  

Laila added: ‘I’ll miss her but it won’t be forever – it’s hopefully more a ‘hasta le vista’ than goodbye!’ 

Iconic character: The Big Mo actress, 75, will be leaving Walford within weeks but said the door will be left open for her return to pop back 'back now and again'

Iconic character: The Big Mo actress, 75, will be leaving Walford within weeks but said the door will be left open for her return to pop back ‘back now and again’

Not gone yet: When asked if she would miss playing the character of Big Mo, she said: 'I’ll miss her but it won’t be forever – it’s hopefully more a ‘hasta le vista’ than goodbye!'

Not gone yet: When asked if she would miss playing the character of Big Mo, she said: ‘I’ll miss her but it won’t be forever – it’s hopefully more a ‘hasta le vista’ than goodbye!’

Laila, who has played market dealer Big Mo Harris since 2000, has taken many breaks over the years and made a dramatic return in 2018. 

The Daily Star first reported that the iconic character would be leaving the show with a show source telling the publication: ‘Laila is leaving the show. 

‘Her current contract is coming to an end and execs agreed this was a good time to write her out.’  

Uncertain: Laila's exit is expected to air around late spring but the timing of her possible return is still uncertain, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic

Uncertain: Laila’s exit is expected to air around late spring but the timing of her possible return is still uncertain, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic

However, the exit is not expected to be permanent, with the source adding: ‘It hasn’t been decided how Big Mo will leave. But it is unlikely to be too explosive and she definitely won’t die.’ 

An EastEnders spokeswoman said: ‘Just like many occasions before, Big Mo will be departing Walford.

‘But as always, she’ll no doubt be back in the not too distant future.’

Laila’s exit is expected to air around late spring but the timing of her possible return is still uncertain, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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