Who’s leaving EastEnders in 2024? Complete list of cast exits, arrivals and returns

There are some big name departures and returns to Walford this year!

ho’s leaving EastEnders in 2024? At the moment it’s all about those returning as Freddie Slater is coming back to Walford – and he’s not alone. Big Mo is also back!

It all comes hot on the heels of a brief comeback for Karen Taylor and a permanent return for Johnny Carter.

Elsewhere, Max Bowden has departed his role as Ben Mitchell after his contract wasn’t renewed. And Shona McGarty is soon to bow out as Whitney Dean.

Here’s a round up of who is leaving, returning and joining the cast of EastEnders in 2024.

Who’s leaving EastEnders in 2024?

Shona McGarty will leave this year too  

Whitney Dean

Whit has been in the show since she was a teenager – 15 years ago.

Since then she’s been through all sorts of heartache, including the shocking reveal that as a teen she had been groomed and raped by Tony King.

She’s been sexually exploited, she’s been married and divorced, jilted at the altar, snogged married Mick Carter, said a tragic goodbye to her baby, Peach, and even killed her stalker in self defence!

And now it seems she’s finally found happiness with Zack Hudson, but it doesn’t look like that will last.

A pregnant Whitney and Zack have returned from a visit to Bianca in Milton Keynes with a foster child called Britney in tow. Only Whit hasn’t actually fostered her officially – she’s paid her drug addict mum to take her off her hands.

How will this lead to Whitney’s exit? Will she go to prison for buying a child? Or will she and Britney go on the run leaving Zack behind?

Who’s returning to EastEnders in 2024?

Bobby Brazier as Freddie on EastEnders
Freddie will be back soon!  

Freddie Slater

Actor Bobby Brazier took some time out from Walford to enjoy his stint on Strictly and then compete in the tour. On-screen he attacked Stacey Slater’s stalker Theo and left him in a coma. Freddie was eventually cleared, but has been staying with his mum, Little Mo, to get away from it all.

Fans had been concerned Bobby wouldn’t return as Freddie, but he is coming back and now details have been confirmed.

Freddie is returning with great gran Big Mo Slater (see below), though the exact reason they decide to come back has not been revealed.

Before they pitch up back on the Square, the EastEnders TikTok channel will give an exclusive first look at the pair’s decision to return in a limited series. It will show both characters in Mo’s caravan where she has been living.

EastEnders star Laila Morse as Big Mos poses in pink coat in front of the Albert Square sign
Big Mo is back!  

Big Mo Slater

Mo Harris is coming back to EastEnders this spring. Laila Morse reprises her role and after several guest stints since her departure in 2021, this time she’s back for good.

First arriving in 2000, Mo’s one-liners and dodgy deals quickly made her a fan-favourite. She left Walford in 2021 to go on a cruise with fiancé Fat Elvis.

She’s been living in her caravan and now decides the time is right to come back with great-grandson Freddie. But what brings them home?

Of her return, Laila said: “I’m delighted to be coming home to Walford to bring Mo back to life. EastEnders holds such a special place in my heart, and I can’t wait to be reunited with my on screen family, who are like my family, as well as old and new faces.”

Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer added: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome back Laila Morse to the role of Mo Harris. Although her time away from the Square has been short-lived, the Slater family has endured a huge amount of drama since she last appeared on screen and Mo’s return will be no different. We’re delighted to welcome Laila back permanently as she is thrust into the heart of the drama alongside great-grandson Freddie [played by Bobby Brazier].”

Meanwhile, fans are thrilled Big Mo is back, with one writing on X: “Brilliant decision to bring her back.”

“I’m excited!!!! Wherever Big Mo goes drama is never far away,” added another. A third said: “I’m absolutely delighted ar Mo is returning! I was only dreaming out her return the other day!! I’m ready for the slater revival. Bring it on.”

It’s good news for Shirley fans (Credit: BBC)

Shirley Carter

It’s fair to say Walford hasn’t been kind to Shirley Carter. She left at the end of December 2022 after her son, Mick Carter disappeared at sea.

Following the death of her sister Tina Carter the previous year, she felt too haunted by their ghosts to stick around. However, the good news is Shirl will return – we think!

An EastEnders spokesperson told Digital Spy: “Linda Henry will be returning to EastEnders.”

But this was a while ago and we’re still waiting! Dean Wicks uggested his mum was in hospital after having a mental breakdown. But can he be trusted to tell the truth? Is she really struggling? How long before we see her in Walford again?

Kim and Howie have gone on a cruise! (Credit: BBC)

Kim Fox and Howie Danes

After being offered a job on a cruise ship, Kim Fox and Howie Danes departed Walford last month. But the good news for Kim Fox fans is they will be back in Walford before we know it.

On The One Show on Monday January 23, actress Tameka Empson told hosts Gethin Jones and Lauren Laverne: “Kim’s going to be all right, she’s going to be okay. She’s going off on a cruise with Howie and the kids. Don’t stress with her, she’s going to be fine.”

Then she added: “But it’s giving me a little bit of a break to do a project that I am so passionate about.”

Tameka is starring in The Big Life, a musical she co-wrote 20 years ago. She will be away from EastEnders for around three months.

Who’s joining EastEnders?

Neil Roberts (right) was an Emmerdale fave (Credit: BBC)

Warren Finn

Former Emmerdale star Neil Roberts is joining the cast of EastEnders. He will play Eddie Knight’s barrister Warren Finn when Eddie is on trial for murder next week.

Neil is best-known to soap fans as Emmerdale’s DS Wise. He has always been a hit with fans and even dated Chas Dingle briefly. He has played the recurring role since 2016. DS Wise first arrived to investigate Aaron Dingle’s accusations of sexual abuse against his dad, Gordon Livesey.

Wise then investigated child groomer Maya Stepney in 2019 after she slept with pupil Jacob Gallagher. He also also led the hunt and interrogation into Robert Sugden for the murder of rapist Lee Posner.

In 2020 he investigated what happened to missing DI Malone, who was murdered by Harriet and Dawn. His most recent appearance was just last November when he was looking into who killed rapist Craig Reed.

It’s not known how long he will be in EastEnders for, but as barrister for Eddie, he’s likely to not be the nicest character! Will he manage to get Eddie freed?

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