Riley, who plays Kyle Slater in the BBC one show, is the first actor to land a transgender role in a British soap.
EastEnders have confirmed the news, with Riley himself also speaking out over the announcement.
Speaking to Metro, Riley said: “When I landed a six-month contract at EastEnders it was a dream come true. For that to be extended to a year was something I never expected.”
His character, Kyle, entered the show to reconnect with long-lost half-sister Stacey; since then, his year has been turbulent, with his most recent storyline involving the blackmailing of Steven Beale.
Meanwhile, Riley’s exit is just one in a long list of departures coming up over the next few months as Ellen Thomas, Samantha Womack and Rita Simons, who portray Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell respectively, Karl Howman – who is known as Buster Briggs – Roger Sloman and Lin Blakley, who play Les and Pam Coker, Nitin Ganatra as the beloved Masood Ahmed, and Danny-Boy Hatchard, who portrays Lee Carter, are all waving goodbye to the BBC One soap.
Riley is set to bow out of the long-running soap in the coming months but he’s hoping the door will be left open for him to return.