BBC EastEnders icon Lorraine Stanley rules out soap return after shocking exit

EastEnders icon Lorraine Stanley has seemingly quashed any speculation about a comeback to the beloved BBC soap following her unexpected departure.

The character of Karen Taylor quickly became a hit with viewers of the BBC soap, but in a turn of events that left fans reeling last year, the character made a dramatic exit from Albert Square. She fled to Spain with Mitch after taking the fall for conning Sharon and Phil out of a hefty sum.

The plot thickened when Keanu and Karen orchestrated a phony kidnapping of Sharon's son Albie, anticipating Sharon would pay a ransom. Indeed, she handed over £50,000 to the supposed kidnapper, leading to Karen absconding with the cash and shouldering the entire blame.

Fans have been desperate to see Karen return
Fans have been hoping that Karen would make a return to Albert Square -Credit:BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Audiences have been clamouring for Karen's return ever since the news of Keanu's body being found broke. Karen did make a brief reappearance upon learning of Keanu's disappearance - however, this time around, it's Bernie who has travelled to Spain to break the tragic news of Keanu's demise to her.

Reflecting on her stint in the show, Lorraine remarked: "I just want people to remember her as the best mum on the square, a heart of gold, she's give you her last fiver and would do anything for her kids - a bit like myself.", reports the Mirror.

And in an Instagram post, she expressed her gratitude for her time on the soap: "Hey everyone! I'm so grateful for all of your lovely messages this past week. Thank you to Daran Little for creating the Taylors and to the BBC for giving me the opportunity to play such a fabulous character, I'll be sad to be saying goodbye to Karen Taylor and will miss all the cast and crew at EastEnders."

Lorraine Stanley
Lorraine became a fan favourite playing Karen on EastEnders -Credit:BBC/Jack Barnes

She continued: "However I'm looking forward to my next chapter and excited about being a jobbing Actor again and starting new ventures. Again your kind words of support have been amazing! ! ! I'm going to miss my Taylor/Baker famalam Clair Norris, Danny Walters, Roger Griffiths and Matthew Morrison. Much love."

However, fans hoping for her return to the show may be left disappointed as she revealed she's working on a new project.

On her Instagram stories this week, she shared a picture of herself wearing Converse trainers, hinting at her new role, and captioned it: "For me a new character begins with the feet. I think she's a Converse kind of gal."