EastEnders actor Ricky Norwood has been suspended from the soap after leaked video appeared to show him smoking cannabis on webcam.
EastEnders must reflect the changing face of east London, including fashionable Shoreditch the show's new boss has said.
Actress Natalie Cassidy is to return to the soap that made her famous seven years after she left.
EastEnders veteran Patsy Palmer is quitting the soap after more than a decade playing Bianca Butcher.
The actress, who is reportedly moving to Los Angeles in a bid to build a career in Hollywood, will leave the BBC1 show this year.
A spokesman for the star said: "Patsy is really sad to be leaving the show as she loves playing Bianca and working with Dominic, but she knows it's the right decision at this time in her life."
EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: "We are so sad that Patsy has decided to leave us, but completely understand that it's the right time for her.
Show bosses have said they will not kill off her character but have stated when she will be leaving: "Bianca won't be leaving Albert Square until the Autumn. We won't be getting rid of Bianca's puffa jacket just yet."
Former EastEnders star John Partridge - who played Christian Clarke in the soap - is returning to Albert Square in the aftermath of the storyline about Lucy Beale's murder.
The 42-year-old will reprise his role "for a short stint" on the show for the funeral scenes which started shooting yesterday.
Viewers will see Christian pay his respects and support his elder sister Jane Beale who was Lucy's stepmother which will mark the first time Partridge has been seen in the show since leaving in November 2012.
He previously dismissed any possible return, telling Metro: "I'm out of it forever. I didn't get killed or anything. We both left to lead a much better life out of the Square."
Lucy (Hetti Bywater) will be killed off with the whodunnit storyline set to run up until the show's 30th anniversary in February 2015 when the identity of the killer will be revealed.
EastEnders must reflect the changing face of east London, as "it's been frozen in aspic too long", the show's new executive producer has said.
Here are a selection of suggestions from users of ITV News' Facebook page to update Albert Square
– Samantha Wells
Make the cast use their washing machines instead of going to the laundrette all the time... It must cost them a fortune! And put some more happy story-lines in too instead of being so morbid all the time
– Dennis Rodriguez
Have someone actually work off the square. And be happy not dysfunctional.
– Carolyn Tovey
Close the market or put it under threat and give the community some to band together over like the rest of the country. Make it more real!!
The set of Albert Square featured in long running soap Eastenders is to be revamped after three decades in order to "secure the long-term future of both the show and site" according to BBC bosses.
The staff and cast were informed this morning that the exterior scenery at the studio at Elstree will be rebuilt and expanded by a fifth, with work expected to be completed in 2018.
The announcement of the soap's new look set comes just weeks after ITV rival Coronation Street overhauled its set and moved to a new studio in Salford.
The present EastEnders set was built in 1984 and new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said the plans "firmly demonstrates the BBC's commitment to the future of EastEnders."
Khali Best from EastEnders has been named best newcomer at the National Television Awards.
Watch the National Television Awards live on ITV
Downton Abbey is to go head to head with EastEnders in the Christmas ratings battle.
The ITV period drama, which will be shown at 8.30pm on Christmas Day, will also be up against Mrs Brown's Boys on BBC 1, during the two-hour long episode.
Downton, which is returning to ITV for a fifth series next year, has been sold to more than 220 territories and watched by an estimated 120 million people around the world since its debut in 2010.
Danny Dyer will become the new landlord of the Queen Vic as he joins the cast of EastEnders this Christmas.
The actor, who is known for his role in The Football Factory, will take over the running of the pub before the end of the year.
Dyer, who will take on the role of Mick Carter, will be joined in the Vic by Kellie Bright - who has appeared in Ali G In Da House and the Only Fools And Horses spin-off Rock And Chips - who is to play his wife Linda.
A BBC spokesperson said Dyer's character was a "bloke's bloke" who was also a big softie, they added: "He thinks nothing of throwing on Linda's pink dressing gown and cooking breakfast for the family in the morning before getting the beer barrels ready downstairs."
Dyer said: "I'm so excited about starting a new chapter in my career and I cannot wait to become part of the East End family."