After more than 20 years, Shortland St's Rachel McKenna is saying goodbye to the show - again.

The iconic character has been on and off the long-running soap since its early years, with actor Angela Bloomfield first appearing in the role in 1993.

After returning and leaving the show twice, Bloomfield returned for good in 2009.

Tonight it was revealed she's leaving again - without long-time lover Chris Warner, played by actor Michael Galvin.


Devastated fans flooded social media to say goodbye to Rachel and express their disbelief she was going again.

"Prepare for a big drop in ratings after this ep," wrote one Twitter user.

Another tweeted to Bloomfield, saying their heart was broken by her character's departure.

Rachel McKenna has had four husbands and many more lovers during her time on the soap opera, including an on-again off-again relationship with Chris Warner which spanned 15 years.

Some were taking her departure pretty hard.

"I don't know what to do and say and how to cope," wrote one Twitter user.

However, others were looking on the bright side, saying at least the show didn't kill her off.

Bloomfield herself weighed in on Twitter as well, posting a picture of a goodbye cake for Rachel.