Maisie Smith Leaves EastEnders After 13 Years 01-15-2021
Strictly star Maisie Smith is set to quit EastEnders after 13 years on the soap.
Sources close to the actress, 19, told MailOnline she’s increasingly unlikely to extend her current contract when it expires in October, with bosses set to use her exit as part of the soap’s dramatic Christmas storylines.
Maisie, who joined EastEnders when she was just six, has ambitions of starring on the big-screen and is hoping to crack Hollywood with a major film role.
The soap star is hoping she could follow in the footsteps of her former co-stars, including Ben Hardy and Himesh Patel who featured in box office hits X-Men: Apocalypse and Yesterday.
A source said: ‘Maisie is hugely ambitious and wants to test herself away from soaps.
‘Starring in movies is a personal goal and seeing how well Ben and Himesh have done, it’s given her hope she could be the next box office star from EastEnders.
‘The only stumbling block is whether COVID-19 and the knock-on effect of the pandemic will dilute the pool of acting opportunities.
‘If it remains bleak, the sensible move might be staying put for another year. But the intention is to leave in October.’
Maisie’s profile rocketed following her appearance on the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing in which she finished runner-up to winner Bill Bailey.
Her management have held talks with various clothing and make-up companies regarding lucrative branding deals she’ll be allowed to take on once out of her BBC contract, which has strict rules against advertising.
However, MailOnline understands fashion endorsements are not the main incentive behind her decision to leave, with acting ambitions the overriding reason.
It’s understood Maisie does not want her character Tiffany Butcher-Baker killed off, as she wants to leave the door open for a return to Albert Square.
Given she’s been such a fixture on the BBC soap for the majority of her life, Maisie hopes EastEnders bosses will grant her wish.
The source added: ‘Maisie loves EastEnders and idolises some of her co-stars, some of whom have been great role models for her.
‘She believes the soap has been the perfect place to learn her trade and she owes them so much. Leaving will be a wrench but at least she knows she could return.’