FAN-favourite Maisie Smith has left EastEnders after being a regular face on the show for 13 years.
In scenes aired on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, her character Tiffany Butcher left Walford to go live with her brother Liam in Germany.
Has Maisie Smith left Eastenders for good?
All loose ends were tied for Tiffany following her last episode.
The episode ended with the youngster breaking things off with her partner Aaron Monroe after a rocky few weeks, determined to get away from the businessman after he got aggressive with her.
Aaron has been testing the patience of fans ever since his first appearance on October 21, 2021.
On December 14, he was seen violently grabbing Tiffany by the arm and ordering her not to meddle with his business as she went to answer the phone.
Tiffany then asked her brother Liam if she could come with him to Germany, prompting the latter to break the news to her estranged husband Keegan.
But while Tiffany is safe with family, is her departure from the BBC soap permanent?
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Although she has been said to leave the programme for good, Maisie has given hope to fans during The One Show saying she will "definitely come back."
"It was sad to leave everyone", she told Lauren Laverne.
When asked about her return, she added: "you never really leave EastEnders."
"They will always find a way to bring you back and I will definitely come back."
Tiffany's departure from the show had been reported for months before Maisie decided to speak up in October, 2021.
In a statement released to the public, she said it was "time to say farewell to Tiff."
"I’ve grown up on EastEnders since 2008, and have learnt from the best over the past 13 years", she wrote.
"I’m very excited for my next challenge and thank the BBC for the opportunity they gave me as a six-year-old."
What is Maisie Smith doing now?
But what prompted Maisie to leave EastEnders?
When her departure first hit the headlines, due to her contract with the BBC expiring, it was speculated that she would be pursuing new career opportunities.
This included new challenges in America as Patsy Palmer has taken on by moving to Malibu in 2014 before rebranding herself as a lifestyle guru.
As it turns out, Maisie is not straying too far away from the box.
After taking part in Strictly Come Dancing alongside Gorka Marquez, the 20-year-old actress is taking on a new reality show.
Maisie will be testing her limits in the next series of Channel 4's Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Her participation in the show was announced in October, 2021, and was said to follow her leaving EastEnders.
"Maisie wants to show there's another side to her beyond the sweet Tiffany she's been known for playing since she was six", a source close to Maisie then told The Sun.
"She got a glimpse of life beyond EastEnders in Strictly and enjoyed the freedom."
This is not Maisie's first break from the soap.
Maisie already spent time away from Albert Square in 2015 and 2017.
This can only lead fans to wonder: when could the actress return to EastEnders?
When could Tiffany Butcher return?
While her character has not been killed off, making her comeback more than likely, Tiffany's future in Walford is unclear.
The date of her possible return remains to be revealed.
However, some viewers have speculated she could be returning to the show in a few months with a big surprise for Keegan.
Speaking of her final days on the EastEnders, Maisie said that emotions were running high behind the cameras.
"I’m quite a cry baby anyway, especially with Shona [McGarty, who plays her on-screen sister Whitney] – she really brings it out of me and all of our last scenes, we just sobbed"
"Even the happy scenes, we just cried, because it was weird because obviously I’ve said goodbye before and I remember it so clearly and it just feels like the time has flown!"
BBC bosses have given Maisie a warm send-off with Jon Sen, EastEnders' executive producer, wishing her the best.
“We are all very sad to see Maisie leave”, he said.
“She’s been a wonderful company member during her time at EastEnders and it’s been a privilege to see her blossom into the star she is."
“She has created an iconic character in Tiff and the door is always open to her return. We wish her all the very best for her future projects.”
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