Bonnie Langford will be heading to the stage after bowing out of her EastEnders role.

The actress, who plays Walford’s Carmel Kazemi, will join the cast of the musical 42nd Street in September, straight after leaving the BBC One soap.

The 53-year-old will appear at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where she made her West End debut at the age of seven in Gone With The Wind.

She tweeted of her new role as Dorothy Brock: “Thrilled to finally share the news. From the square to the sidewalk.”

And the former child star, who joined EastEnders in 2015, said in a statement: “I’ve had a wonderful three-and-a-half years …  and it’s been a privilege to be part of such an iconic show.

“My current storyline has been such an incredible experience and I’m honoured to be part of something so powerful and poignant.

“However, as I’ve known since the beginning of this storyline, it would always lead to Carmel having to take a break from Walford.

“I’m not leaving just yet though and there is still plenty more to come from Carmel.”

Bonnie LangfordBonnie Langford is set to leave EastEnders (Ian West/PA)

According to the Daily Mirror, the actress will depart Albert Square as her character struggles to cope with her son Shakil’s violent death.

The teenager was stabbed in what Langford said was the toughest storyline of her career.

Following her on-screen son’s death, her character initially refused to attend his funeral during a special episode that aired on July 6.

The scenes from the service were interspersed with accounts from the parents of real-life victims of knife crime, who shared their own stories of losing a child.

The actress won Best Newcomer at the British Soap Awards in 2016 and it is thought her character will not be killed off, leaving the door open for a return.

An EastEnders’ spokeswoman said: “We can confirm Bonnie will be leaving EastEnders later this year. Bonnie has been a fantastic addition to the cast and we wish her all the very best for the future.”