Emmett Scanlan – aka Hollyoaks bad boy Brendan Brady – has announced his decision to depart the Channel 4 soap, with his final scenes due to air in March 2013.
The actor, who has portrayed the handlebar-moustached Irish villain since his first appearance in 2010, took to Twitter this morning to tell followers he would be quitting the role.
"To the greatest fans I could ever wish for – the time has come for me to sign out of Hollyoaks, to bow out as Double B.
"It has been the greatest honour to share the stage with you and I could think of no better company to spend my evenings with. Thank you for your love and loyalty and please, let's dance again another time, another role.
"To the channel and Lime Pictures, thank you. A success built on surrounding myself with people who are better than me in every department, thank you."
The 33-year-old has been involved in a number of high-profile story arcs since first arriving on the soap two and a half years ago as the half brother of established character, Cheryl Brady (Bronagh Waugh). His character's explosive plotlines have included an on-off homosexual relationship with Ste Hay (played by Kieron Richardson), drama-filled feuds with Warren Fox and Simon Walker – which saw the latter attempt to blow him up – and recent scarring encounters with his abusive father, Seamus.
Scanlan has received a positive critical reception for his work in the soap, winning accolades for Villain of the Year and Best Newcomer at the 2011 British Soap Awards as well as picking up four Inside Soap Awards over the last two years, including Best Actor and Best Bad Boy. He was also nominated at this 2013's National Television Awards for Best Serial Drama Performance.
Whether his character will depart on such a high is another matter. After making numerous enemies during his time in Chester, Brady could be lucky to leave the soap in one piece...