Danny Dyer has been forced to take a break from EastEnders in order "to sort his life out", it has been reported.
The 39-year-old, who plays Old Vic landlord Mick Carter in the BBC One soap, allegedly attempted to give up alcohol at the start of the year but appeared to be drinking heavily at the National Television Awards last month.
"The producers are concerned about him for a number of reasons," an EastEnders insider told The Sun.
"It was clear to onlookers he appeared very drunk at the NTAs. It is best that he takes some time out to sort his life out. He appears to be exhausted.
"As a result, Danny is not filming on the show at all. There is an enforced break that is expected to last a number of weeks.
"At the end of the day, he remains the biggest star of the show, so everyone is determined to get him back to his best."
Speaking at the NTAs, Dyer, who starred in The Football Factory and Vendetta and earns £400,000 a year for his role in EastEnders, said: "The beginning of the year is a month ago now. I mean, I did try to give up drinking but, as you can see, I'm now sucking on a lager."
A BBC spokesman said: "Danny is on a short break from EastEnders. This was not enforced by bosses nor has he quit the show."
It is not yet clear how the EastEnders scriptwriters will circumnavigate the problem of Dyer's absence, which could be for a number of weeks, since his character is integral to a series of major plots.
"Having Danny off is a total nightmare," the source said. "It causes total chaos for both the writers and producers.
"The story-lines are worked out months in advance and no one was expecting him to be off. A lot of scripts had to be torn up and it's caused a lot of behind-the-scenes chaos.
"It’s all anyone is talking about on set."
Last month, Dyer admitted he was considering other options away from Albert Square. "Four years is a long time," he said. "It’s been really rewarding but there’s other stuff out there. I’d love to show other sides to me, I loved theatre and all that."
Dyer, who discovered in a recent episode of Who Do You Think You Are? that he was a direct descendant of Edward III, has opened up about his turbulent relationship with alcohol in the past.
"I sometimes have a half at the end of the day in The Queen Vic," he wrote in his 2015 autobiography, "though they started putting TCP in the pumps to stop me drinking it."