EastEnders star Nitin Ganatra has promised Masood Ahmed's exit from Albert Square will be "warm, poignant and heartfelt".
The actor will depart the BBC soap after playing the good-natured postman for nine years, despite only planning to stay for six months.
He told ITV's This Morning: "What is lovely about his exit is it's not high drama.
"The response to him leaving is phenomenal, I just go to work and assume nobody notices. I go home and look after the kids and then I get this response that I didn't expect."
He added: "I said ' people love him from all cultures so let's keep it warm and poignant and heartfelt'.
"It's not a big drama but Zainab is a catalyst to him rethinking his whole life."
Ganatra said he was leaving the soap so he could explore other roles, explaining: " I want to do some more characters and do some more films.
"Coming up on 10 years is a full stop.
"I was doing films and comedies before so this was a good time to go."
But he is not ruling out returning to the show in future and said producers have promised him the door will be open for him to come back.