EASTENDERS Karen Taylor endures an emotional farewell with love interest Billy Mitchell as she prepares to quit Albert Square.
Lorraine Stanley’s character, a favourite among the show’s fans, told the funeral director of her plans to leave Walford with grandson Kayden, after thrashing out a deal with Ian Beale.
Teaser images for the BBC One soap show Billy looking gutted as Karen broke the news.
The pair shared a cup of tea outside as the mum, wearing a fur gilet and pink jumper, told how she would be leaving him behind.
It comes after Karen was offered a life-saving amount of money by restaurant owner Ian, with the condition she leave Walford with Sharon Mitchell’s son Kayden, whose father is Karen’s son Keanu, avoiding him going into care.
It is unclear whether Karen, famed for her top knot hairstyle, will let slip the particulars of her exit in her emotion-charged chat with Billy.
Yet the pictures hint she is struggling with her decision as she stands outside a removal van, packed with all her goods.
Karen, who arrived in EastEnders in 2016, is seen holding the same breath she had during the chat with Billy and staring straight ahead.
She has a pained expression on her face and the absence of her boyfriend hints he didn’t take the news very well.
Speaking to Digital Spy about Karen’s exit, actress Lorraine said: “Obviously, as a mother, she doesn’t want to leave her children.
“But she feels that she’s doing the right thing for Kayden.
“She couldn’t bear him to go into care so it’s her only option.”
Lorraine later admitted the character, who suggested the baby’s name to Sharon before she handed him over, may find it tough leaving son Keegan after he was arrested.
She added: “Plus he’s newly married and things are going a bit wrong for him so I think she’s thinking he’s vulnerable.”
The actress continued: “She’s not going too far, but she is gutted.
“She really likes him and it’s a new relationship. But she’s got to do what she’s got to do and what’s best for Kayden.”
This episode airs on Tuesday 2nd June at 7.30pm on BBC One.