"Don't forget about me."
BBC Eastenders star Jaz Singh Deol has revealed that he will be leaving the long-running soap after three years.
The actor joined the soap in 2019 as businessman Kheerat Panesar and became a fan favourite.
He took to Instagram to post a series of black-and-white pictures with the Eastenders cast. His simple caption read:
“… Love you. Love you all… X”
Jaz joined Eastenders as a member of the Panesar family, alongside the rest of the stars who play his on-screen family, including Jags (Amar Adatia), Vinny (Shiv Jalota), his sister Ash (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha) and their mother (Balvinder Sopal).
Jaz’s final appearance came on November 10, 2022, as his character decided to take the blame for the murder of Ranveer Gulati, of which Suki was the prime suspect.
Kheerat’s final scenes saw him make an emotional farewell to girlfriend Stacey (Lacey Turner).
He told her: “I have held my family together, I have fought for my brothers, I have mediated between my sister and my mum.
“And I’ve pushed myself to be this superhuman businessman and I lost myself.
“You are the one that’s found me, but this is bigger than this.
“If my mum goes to prison, my entire family’s going to fall apart, and I can’t let that happen.”
Kheerat is then surrounded by police. As he is taken away, Stacey pleaded:
“Don’t forget about me.”
A BBC spokesperson confirmed that Jaz Singh Deol had left the soap, saying:
“We can confirm that Jaz has left EastEnders and we wish him all the very best for the future.”
Kheerat has been a firm fan favourite, even though his character has been through some rough patches, including a violent scene with Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) after his murder confession.
During his time on the soap, Jaz won ‘Best TV Character’ at the 2021 Asian Media Awards and was pleased with his win.
He said: “To hear your name being called in a room full of people you admire and respect is an experience in and of itself.
“It’s surreal, emotional and overwhelming. In particular, this one because it comes from MY community.
“To be embraced by such an audience and hearing those who came up to me afterwards share their feelings of connection to Kheerat Singh Panesar almost had me in tears.”