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EastEnders' Paul Coker dead

EastEnders' Paul Coker dead

'EastEnders' Paul Coker is dead.

Viewers were left shocked by the death of the hairdresser-turned-undertaker on Monday's (18.07.16) episode after it was first believed that his boyfriend Ben Mitchell had been involved in an accident.

However, when Ben's half-brother Ian Beale and his father Phil Mitchell showed up to identify Ben's body, they found Paul, played by Jonny Labey, instead.

Jonny revealed in April that he had quit the BBC One soap after less than a year in the role, in order to focus on musical theatre.

A spokesperson for the long-running show said: "We can confirm Jonny will be leaving the show later this year. We wish him all the best for the future."

Jonny told bosses he was leaving the show after he landed the lead part in the upcoming play 'Verge of Strife' at the Assembly George Square Studios during the Edinburgh Festival 2016 this August.

The fate of Paul's boyfriend Ben is unclear but Lin Blakley - who plays Paul's grandmother Pam - previously hinted that he will live after Paul's demise.

She said: "I would imagine it's going to be hell for Paul's boyfriend Ben, whatever happens, and I'm sure there will be a few gasps from the audience who'll think, 'My gosh, I didn't see that coming!'"

Since arriving on the square, Paul had his fair share of heartbreak with Ben (Harry Reid) but the pair - who previously had to keep their romance under wraps - looked like they were finally about to get their happy ever after when Ben's dad accepted their relationship.