Tamzin Outhwaite quits EastEnders

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Tamzin Outhwaite during a BUILD event at AOL London on July 20, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Tamzin Outhwaite has quit EastEnders and soap bosses are planning an explosive exit for her character.

The 48-year-old actress returned to Albert Square as Mel Owen in 2018 but has decided to leave to "pursue other challenges".

Outhwaite told Metro: "When [then executive producer] John [Yorke] asked me to return to EastEnders back in 2017, I jumped at the chance to play Mel once more but it was only supposed to be for a year.

"That year quickly passed and I agreed to stay on for another, but now the time feels right to once again pursue other challenges.

"I will of course miss so many people here at EastEnders, and I will forever have good memories of my time at the show, but I am also excited to experience new roles outside of Walford."

"Please. Save my boy." #EastEnders

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And Mel's shock exit from Walford could be imminent, as it is expected to coincide with the return of her on-screen killer son Hunter (played by Charlie Winter).

Current executive producer Jon Sen added: "We are extremely grateful to Tamzin for reviving the character of Mel Owen back in 2017, allowing EastEnders fans the chance to see one of Walford's most popular characters take centre stage once more.

"Tamzin is an incredible talent who has set our screens on fire with her wonderful performances in some of our most iconic storylines. We wish her the best of luck for the future."

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Tamzin Outhwaite attending the National Television Awards 2019 held at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 09: Tamzin Outhwaite attends Hello Magazine's 30th anniversary party at Dover Street Market on May 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Tamzin Outhwaite attends the National Television Awards 2018 at The O2 Arena on January 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: Tamzin Outhwaite and Leigh Francis attend the National Television Awards 2018 at the O2 Arena on January 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Tamzin Outhwaite seen at the ITV Studios on January 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by HGL/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Tamzin Outhwaite attends 'One Night Only At The Ivy' in aid of Acting for Others on December 10, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ivy)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Tamzin Outhwaite arriving at The National Lottery Awards 2017 at The London Studios on September 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by HGL/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Tamzin Outhwaite attends the Joshua Kane 'Fantasy' show during London Fashion Week September 2017 at the London Palladium on September 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Tamzin Outhwaite pictured outside the AOL Building on July 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by SAV/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: Tamzin Outhwaite attends the press night after party for 'Stepping Out' at the Coutts Bank on March 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Tamzin Outhwaite arrives at the gala performance of Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, at Sadler's Wells - London
Tamzin Outhwaite attending the premiere of Great Expectations, the closing night gala of the BFI London Film Festival, at the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square.
Tamzin Outhwaite pictured in a giant baby bouncer on the Fisher Price stand at the Baby Show, at the Earl's Court exhibition centre in west London.
Tamzin Outhwaite during the Phillips BAFTA Television Awards 2010 at the London Palladium, London
Tamzin Outhwaite on the television show, Justin Lee Collins Good Times, filmed at the Rivoli Ballroom in London. The episode will be transmitted at 2200 on Channel 5, on Monday 19th April, 2010.
Tamzin Outhwaite arriving at The Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards 2009, Banqueting House, Westminster, London.
Tamzin Outhwaite arrives at the joint 30th birthday party held for Ant (McPartlin) and Dec (Donnelly) at No 5 Cavendish Square, central London, Sunday 23 October 2005. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Jane Mingay/PA
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite.
Tamzin Outhwaite attend the aftershow party following the final gig this year by N.E.R.D, at Sketch in London. ©suzan/allactiondigital.com
Tamzin Outhwaite attending the 2004 Mercury Music Prize awards held at Grosvenor House.
The Face of Avon Color, actress Tamsin Outhwaite poses for photographers during a photocall to launch the US cosmetic company's latest range outside the Rex Cinema Bar in central London. The actress is currently filming with American actor Wesley Snipes in the USA.
Tamzin Outhwaite leaving the Royal Albert Hall after the premiere of the Cirque du Soleil. ©Shaun Pattenden/allactiondigital.com
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite poses for photographers during the launch of an online christmas card appeal at Great Ormond Street Hospital in central London. By logging onto online greetings card site www.merrychristmas.co.uk and pledging a dontion of 5, 80% goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
Actress Actress Tamzin Outhwaite arriving for the British Academy Television Awards at the London Palladium.
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite at the Pantene Pro-V Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The awards, known as the 'Oscars' of the beauty industry recogonise the talents of photographers, make-up artists hairdressers, models and beauty journalists.
Handout image of actress Tamzin Outhwaite launching the Lottoships tour, made up of four Lotto airships from White Waltham airfield near London. The tour of mainland Britain marks the countdown to the first ever Lotto draw (the new name for the National Lottery).
Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite arriving at the Empire Cinema in London's Leicester Square, for the premiere of Ali G InDaHouse.
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite arriving at the Teatro restaurant 4th birthday celebrations in Soho, London.
EastEnders star Tamzin Outhwaite joins the Army's Special Investigations Branch in Nottingham, in preparation for her new TV series 'Red Cap' in which she plays plain-clothes detective Jo McDonagh. *The Army is providing Tamzin with a period of training to familiarise her with her new role; amongst the subjects covered, they will teach her saluting, unarmed combat and 9mm pistol shooting. The series is being shot in the UK and Germany.
Soap star Tamzin Outhwaite enjoys the beach at Cannes, during a BBC beach party, at The Cannes Festival.
Soap star Tamzin Outhwaite enjoys the beach at Cannes, during a BBC beach party, at The Cannes Festival.
Tamzin Outhwaite, winner of the Maxim International Woman Of The Year awards at the ceremony in London's Park Lane.
Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite at the Jimmy Choo Couture Gala Evening in aid of Tommy's Campaign at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays Melanie Healey in Eastenders, arriving for the GQ Magazine Men of the Year Awards 2000, at The Royal Opera House in London.
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays Melanie Healey in the BBC1 soap opera Eastenders, hitches up her dress upon arrival at the British Academy TV Awards (BAFTA's) in London.
Actress Tamzin Outhwaite who plays Melanie Healy in Eastenders with her National Television Award for "Most Popular Newcomer", shares the moment with TV cook Jamie Oliver, from the TV show 'The Naked Chef', at The Royal Albert Hall in London.
Former Eastenders actress Patsy Palmer (R), and Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays Melanie Healy in the same soap, compete in the team 'Patsy's Panthers' at the 1999 Celebrity Netball Sevens competition at the Crystal Palace National Sports Stadium, in London.
Actors from the TV soap, Eastenders (left -right) Joe Absolom (Matthew Rose), Tamzin Outhwaite (Melanie Healy) and Martin Kemp (Steve Owen) attend the TV Quick Awards at the Dorchester Hotel, London.
EastEnders stars Tamzin Outhwaite and Martin Kemp attend the TVQuick Awards ceremony in London, where the BBC series won awards for Best Soap, Best Soap Storyline, Best New Actor/Actress (Jamie Mitchell) and Best Soap Actor (Joe Absolom).
Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays Melanie Healy, at a celebrity football match at Hackney Marshes.
From L-R: Eastenders actors Barbara Windsor, who plays Peggy Mitchell, Michael Greco, who plays Beppe di Marco, and Tamzin Outhwaite, who plays Melanie Healy with their awards at the British Soap Awards, London.
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Mel first appeared in EastEnders in 1998 and left in 2002 to live in Portugal. She returned in 2018 as part of a plot which saw her double-cross Sharon Mitchell in order to retrieve some stolen money. Earlier this year her son Hunter murdered his father Ray in order to save her and then fled the Square.

The news comes as the BBC soap is suffering a severe dip in ratings.

Viewing figures for the show dropped to an all-time low of just just 2.4 million one day in June. This was blamed on an unadvertised schedule change due to the Women's Football World Cup.

EastEnders was watched by a record 30 million on Christmas Day in 1986 when Dirty Den told wife Angie he was leaving her for good.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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