British actress WENDY RICHARD is quitting hit British soap opera Eastenders after 21 years as a castmember. The 62-year-old, who first found fame in her homeland in hit TV show Are You Being Served?, feels the time has come to move on from her longtime character PAULINE FOWLER. She says, "When JULIA SMITH, the first executive producer of EastEnders, approached me to play Pauline Fowler, I never would have thought that 21 years later I would still be playing her. "But nothing lasts forever. I've loved every minute of being part of this fantastic show, and will stay in touch with the many friends I've made." In recent years, Richard has endured two battles with breast cancer and other bouts of ill health, but her agent insists she is simply moving on to pursue other interests. He says, "There have been no arguments or quarrels. Wendy just felt it was time to move on. "She just got to the point where she thought, 'How much further can I go with this role?'" Despite her resignation, Richard has agreed to keep filming until her character makes her exit in a Christmas Day (25DEC06) special.