EastEnders star Laila Morse not leaving BBC soap amid reports of Big Mo’s departure

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This Morning's soap correspondent Sharon Marshall has slammed claims that Laila Morse is leaving EastEnders.

Laila, 75, was reported to be leaving the hit BBC soap as bosses decided to not renew her contract due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As the star, who has played 'Big' Mo Harris on the show for over 20 years, is of older age, she falls into the "vulnerable" category, with it being believed she had been advised to stay away from the show's set.

However, speaking on Tuesday's episode of This Morning, Sharon, 49, shut down the rumours.

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She said: "There's press reports that Big Mo's been axed, not true at all.

"Actually, last September she asked if she could leave and they've been persuading her to stay back and do more filming.

"She's actually been in the studio this week filming so we're going to get a lot more from Big Mo."

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According to Daily Star, a source close to the show had previously said: "Laila is leaving the show.

"Her current contract is coming to an end and execs agreed this was a good time to write her out.

"It hasn't been decided how Big Mo will leave. But it is unlikely to be too explosive and she definitely won't die.

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"Laila has had a few breaks over the years. Her character often comes and goes depending on the storylines.

"There is no set timescale in place for her to return. It's very difficult for producers to plan ahead because of coronavirus.

"The current pandemic has made things very difficult. But there is hope Laila will one day be back."

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV while EastEnders continues on Mondays and Fridays at 8pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One.

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