EastEnders veteran Pam St Clement is to bow out of Albert Square, more than a quarter of a century after making her debut as no-nonsense Pat.
The actress (69), one of the longest serving stars of the show, will leave Walford later this year. St Clement said she had other things she wanted to do but said leaving the soap would be like a "bereavement".
During her colourful years in the show, 'Fat' Pat remarried several times, has gone to prison and enjoyed affairs with Walford characters such as infamous lothario Den Watts (Leslie Grantham).
St Clement joined the BBC1 show in 1986 -- a year after it launched -- and became noted for her dangly earrings and bleached hairdo.
She was first seen after arriving in the Square to break the news to Pete Beale (Peter Dean) he was not the father of her son Simon Wicks (Nick Berry).
St Clement said: "I have enjoyed 25 and a half wonderful years in EastEnders creating the character of Pat but feel it's time to hang up her earrings."
Viewers have seen her marry Frank Butcher in 1989 and then her fourth husband, Roy Evans, in 1996.
Her most famous scenes over her long career have often been moments of high drama, often involving slaps.
In one memorable scene she and Peggy Butcher (Barbara Windsor) exchanged blows amid cries of "you bitch" and "you cow". In another climactic scene, Pat's affair with ex-husband Frank was exposed by Peggy in front of regulars at the Queen Vic.
The BBC would not say how she will leave the show at this stage.