As Peggy Mitchell makes her tragic exit, here are 13 memorable EastEnders departures

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There won't be a dry eye in the house as EastEnders bids a fond farewell to matriarch Peggy Mitchell, played by Dame Barbara Windsor.

The EastEnders stalwart, 78, is leaving the show for good and her famous character will be killed off in Tuesday's episode.

Dame Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell
Dame Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell (BBC)

In the long-running BBC One soap, the clock is ticking down for terminally-ill Peggy. The cancer she thought she had beaten has spread and nothing more can be done.

https://youtu.be/RHeu8Qa51oo

To mark the occasion, BBC Store is making a collection of 15 classic Albert Square exit stories available for fans to buy.

As Peggy heads out of Albert Square for the very last time, here is our pick of BBC Store's memorable departures by bad boys, soap vixens, villains and other residents in the London borough of Walford.

1. Tiffany dies

Martine McCutcheon and Ross Kemp (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Martine McCutcheon and Ross Kemp (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

At the time of her death on New Year's Eve in 1998, Tiffany Mitchell (Martine McCutheon) was experiencing marital difficulties with husband Grant (Ross Kemp). The couple argued over custody of baby daughter Courtney and as Tiffany tried to flee from Grant, she ran straight into the path of a car driven by neighbour Frank Butcher (the late Mike Reid).

2. Goodbye to Grant

Ross Kemp as Grant Mitchell (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Ross Kemp as Grant Mitchell (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

In 1999, Grant left Walford with his daughter Courtney after an altercation with his sibling. Phil (Steve McFadden) pulled a gun on his younger brother after hearing about Grant's tryst with Phil's then-wife Kathy (Gillian Taylforth). The dramatic story culminated with the brothers' car plunging into the River Thames.

3. Den Watts' first 'murder'

Leslie Grantham as Den  (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Leslie Grantham as Den (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

In 1989, 'dirty' Den (played by Leslie Grantham) was famously shot by a hitman with a gun which was concealed in a bunch of daffodils. Years later, Den came back from the dead. Turns out he'd faked his death.

4. Goodbye Arthur

Bill Treacher (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Bill Treacher (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

In 1996, troubled Arthur Fowler (Bill Treacher) was in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Arthur received a blow to his head during a prison fracas. On his release, he suffered a brain haemorrhage at his beloved allotment. He died later in hospital, leaving the Fowler family heartbroken.

5. David Wicks legs it

Michael French as David Wicks and Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Michael French as David Wicks and Adam Woodyatt as Ian Beale (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

David Wicks (Michael French) was another of Walford's wide-boy womanisers. David had an affair with his half-brother Ian Beale's (Adam Woodyatt) wife Cindy (Michelle Collins) and then arranged to have Ian shot before then embarking on another affair with old flame Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson).

When the truth about his actions came out, David was ostracised by his family and decided to leave the Square in 1996.

6. Ethel Skinner's death

Gretchen Franklin and June Brown (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Gretchen Franklin and June Brown (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

The death of veteran Albert Square resident Ethel (Gretchen Franklin) in 2000 was one of the most moving ever depicted in the BBC soap. It raised issues about euthanasia and dying with dignity. Ethel knew she was terminally ill, and having kept a stash of morphine hidden away, she begged her best friend Dot (June Brown) to help end her life. After wrestling with her conscience, Dot agreed.

7. Trevor Morgan holds Little Mo hostage

Fire at the Slaters' house (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Fire at the Slaters' house (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

Evil Trevor (Alex Ferns) made poor Little Mo's (Kacey Ainsworth) life hell. Even after they had split, he began a campaign of abuse against her, culminating in taking Mo and his son Sean hostage in 2002 and setting fire to the house. Tom, the fiance of Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean), saved Mo and Sean, but a powerful explosion killed both Trevor and Tom.

8. Mark Fowler rides into the sunset

Todd Carty as Mark Fowler (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Todd Carty as Mark Fowler (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

Mark (Todd Carty) was one of the first soap characters to be diagnosed as HIV positive. Viewers saw him live with the condition for many years, but after being told by doctors that his body was rejecting his medication, Mark decided he would leave Walford and spare his family from watching his decline. He rode off on his motorbike in 2003.

9. Den's second death

Leslie Grantham and Tracy-Ann Oberman (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Leslie Grantham and Tracy-Ann Oberman (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

When Den returned to Albert Square alive, everyone was shocked. But he was soon back to his dirty ways and it was affair with Zoe Slater (Michelle Ryan) that ultimately led to his downfall, with both his wife Chrissie (Tracy-Ann Oberman) and lover Zoe helping to kill him and bury him under The Queen Vic pub in 2005.

10. Dennis Rickman dies

Letitia Dean and Nigel Harman (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Letitia Dean and Nigel Harman (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

Dennis (Nigel Harman) was the son Den didn't know he had. But that didn't stop the romance with his adopted sister Sharon (Letitia Dean). Unfortunately, their happiness was short-lived when Dennis beat up local gangster Johnny Allen (Billy Murray), leading to a revenge attack. Dennis was stabbed in 2005 and died in Sharon's arms.

11. Au Revoir, Janine Butcher

Charlie Brooks (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
Charlie Brooks (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

Janine (Charlie Brooks) was at the centre of a number of dramatic storylines including pushing husband Barry Evans (Shaun Williamson) over a cliff and embarking on a relationship with evil Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb). Her exit came shortly after she'd been imprisoned for her part in the murder of former lover Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd). But being Janine she once again managed to worm her way out of trouble and headed off to France with her daughter Scarlett in 2014.

12. 'Nasty' Nick Cotton's Death

John Altman and June Brown (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
John Altman and June Brown (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

'Nasty' Nick (John Altman) was the original villain of the Square. He murdered Reg Cox in the very first episode, and accidentally caused the death of his own son Ashley. As if that wasn't enough, Nick even tried to kill his own mother Dot. Nick returned to Walford in 2014, but had to live in hiding in a derelict building. He persuaded Dot to score heroin to feed his addiction, but died from an overdose, with Dot beside him in 2015.

13. The discovery of Reg Cox

EastEnders' Reg  Cox played by Johnnie Clayton  (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)
EastEnders' Reg Cox played by Johnnie Clayton (The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is available from 17 May www.bbcstore.com)

The very first episode of EastEnders in 1985 started with the death of character Reg Cox (played by Johnnie Clayton). Den Watts (Leslie Grantham), Pete Beale (Peter Dean) and Ali Osman (Nejdet Salih) broke into his flat and found the missing old man, with Den uttering the immortal first line: "Cor! Stinks in 'ere, dunnit?"

The BBC Store EastEnders Iconic Exits Collection is released on Tuesday 17 May