There's a spot of sad news for EastEnders fans this afternoon as word about Anna Wing's passing has just filtered through. The actress, most famously known for her portrayal of Lou Beale, passed away on Sunday July 6th.

Her agent confirmed the news this morning, and EastEnders reps paid tribute to the actress, who was one of the show's original cast members. "We are deeply saddened to hear that Anna Wing has passed away. From the very first episode of EastEnders, Anna created one of the most iconic matriarchs in television history" a spokesperson for the soap said.

"The character of Lou Beale is still so entrenched in EastEnders history and without Anna, the Beale family would never have been the focal point that it is today. Anna will be remembered fondly by everyone at EastEnders and our deepest sympathies are extended to her family and friends."

Wing starred in over 200 episodes of the soap between 1985 and 1988, and made quite the mark as the matriarch of the Beale and Fowler families. Her character passed away peacefully after giving all the relatives a right tongue lashing in one of the show's most memorable exit storylines.

"So sad to hear that Anna Wing has passed away. She was a wonderful lady, very helpful and giving, I learned so much from her. I worked with Anna on The Witches and the Grinnygog before she became my gran in EastEnders" cast member Adam Woodyatt (who played grandson Ian) said.

"I remember one episode in particular, number 16, we had a seven page scene for the cliffhanger with Ian pouring his heart out to his gran. It was the first time I had to cry on screen and I was terrified I wouldn't be able to do it. Anna was so helpful, happy to rehearse it over and over again and put me completely at ease. Sure enough, the tears flowed from nowhere and It was the first time Julia's Theme was used at the end of an episode. I have so many fond memories of her, my thoughts are with her family and friends.”