Lee Mead is leaving Holby City when his character Lofty Chiltern bows out.
The 38-year-old star will exit the BBC medial drama on Tuesday December 17, and he has already filmed his final scenes.
Lofty will depart the wards after realising his marriage to Dom Copeland has reached the end of the line.
Simon Harper, Executive Producer of Casualty and Holby City, is quoted by Digital Spy as saying: “The popularity of Lofty has seen Lee star successfully in both Casualty and Holby City, a brilliant achievement.
“He has brought some of our warmest and most tender stories to life over the last couple years and off screen is about the sweetest, most humble guy you could ever hope to work with.
“His performance in the recent stillbirth and aftermath storyline is especially fine.
“Thank you so much Lee for lighting up the Holbyverse, we are all going to miss you terribly.”
And Lee’s exit episode will be extra special as there will be a double Casualty crossover when Lofty’s pals Max Walker (Jamie Davis) and Robyn Miller (Amanda Henderson) appear.
It comes just nine months after Lee revealed he had signed a new Holby City contract.
Thank you so much Lee for lighting up the Holbyverse, we are all going to miss you terribly.
Speaking on Graham Norton’s Radio 2 show in March, he said: “I’m still on screen – we shoot three months in advance, and I’ve just signed for a third year.
“I just love playing Lofty, he’s a great character. I’m really happy there.
“We’re filming at Elstree, so it’s one hour from home back in Southend, and I’ve just got more of a life balance, and I love playing the role as well.”
While he has a good “life balance”, Lee admitted the nature of the show’s storylines mean he often ends up with intense blocks of filming followed by a lengthy period of time off work.
He explained: “If you have a big storyline, you’re there five days a week, 12 hours a day, but you can have two, three, four weeks where you’re just off sat at home.”
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