The actor is set to exit Walford as bad boy Vincent Hubbard in the coming weeks, with Richard already having filmed his final scenes.
His departure was a mutual decision between him and producers, after they offered him an exit storyline he couldn’t say no to.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Richard said: “I have loved every minute of my time at ‘EastEnders’, and although I will be sad to say goodbye, after three years it feels the right time to leave.
“I have been truly blessed with some great storylines since the moment I joined, but when I was presented with my last story, I knew it was time for Vincent to depart Walford.
“I’m now excited about what the future holds. I have a feature film out this year, I will be returning to theatre and also some great presenting TV gigs.”
An ‘EastEnders’ spokesperson added: “We can confirm that Richard will be leaving ‘EastEnders’ this spring. Richard has been a great addition to the show and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Vincent made his first appearance on the soap in February 2015 as the husband of long-running character Kim Fox.
His storylines have included him accidentally killing Arthur ‘Fatboy’ Chubb and being part of Aidan McGuire’s botched heist, which also saw the gangster threaten his life.
News of Richard’s departure follows the announcement Jenna Rusell will be leaving her role as Michelle Fowler later this spring, after just over a year.
She took over the character from previous actress Susan Tully in December 2016, after she declined the chance to return.
The pair’s exits mark a number of changes the soap’s new boss John Yorke has made since taking the helm last year.
He axed other long-standing characters Lauren and Abi Branning and Ben Mitchell, as well as bringing back old favourites like Masood Ahmed, Mel Owen and Kat Slater.
Catch up on all the latest soap news and spoilers here.