ENTERTAINMENT
21/10/2013 06:34 BST

'EastEnders' Heartthrob David Witts Quits Role As Joey Branning

'EastEnders' heartthrob David Witts has quit his role as Joey Branning in the BBC One soap.

The 22-year-old actor, who has starred in the show since 2012, will leave Walford at Christmas.

joey branning

David Witts as Joey Branning

His character, Joey, will reportedly be involved in the climax of his sister Alice's dark storyline with Michael Moon. Viewers have previously seen Joey battle with his father Derek, who has since died, and fall in love with his cousin Lauren before they were involved in a dramatic car crash.

A spokesperson for the soap told the Daily Star Sunday: "We can confirm that David is leaving EastEnders later this year and we wish him all the best for the future."

His on-screen sister Alice, played by Jasmyn Banks and Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) have already confirmed their exits from Albert Square.

And they aren't the only ones who've been affected by a shake-up by the show's new producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins. Kierston Wareing (Kirsty Branning), Phaldut Sharma (AJ Ahmed), Rachel Bright (Poppy Meadow), Daniel Coonan (Carl White), Clare Perkins (Ava Hartman), Cornell S John (Sam James) have also been axed.

eastenders

AJ Ahmed (Phaldut Sharma) and Kirsty Branning (Kierston Wareing)

Treadwell-Collins has been charged with reviving the soap, which has seen viewing figures drop to below 5 million.

An 'EastEnders' source told The Sun: “Dominic didn’t feel the characters who are leaving fit with the direction he is taking the show so he quickly decided to write them out.

“He has only been in a month but he is already making big changes. He knows what he wants for EastEnders and is putting plans in place quickly."

Meanwhile, Scott Maslen (Jack Branning) announced his departures from the programme earlier this year and viewers saw him say a tearful goodbye to Walford and Ronnie last week.

EastEnders: Where Are They Now?