William Gaminara is leaving forensic crime drama Silent Witness after 11 years playing Professor Leo Dalton. His final episode, which concludes a two-parter set in Afghanistan, will air tonight at 9pm.
The actor said today in a statement: “After 11 series I have decided to leave Silent Witness. I have had a fantastic time on the show but feel now is the appropriate time to move on hopefully to other ventures. Many thanks to all those who have been involved over the past decade, in particular the incredibly hard-working crews and production teams without whom the programme would be on the slab. Keep those tox reports coming in.”
Kate Harwood, Head of Drama, England, BBC added: “William Gaminara as Leo has been the rock at the centre of Silent Witness for 11 series, being a mentor, hero and father to the team. This hasn't stopped him from also leading some of the most high octane and often the most deeply moving stories the show has told in that time. We'll never forget him confronting youth gun crime in Safe and his own personal demons in Lost.”
Gaminara is the latest cast member to depart, following co-star Tom Ward’s exit as Dr Harry Cunningham at the end of the last series. Gaminara and Ward both joined in 2002, back when Amanda Burton was playing the drama’s lead pathologist, Professor Sam Ryan.
Following Burton’s exit in 2004, Emilia Fox was introduced as Dr Nikki Alexander, a role she continues to play to this day. For the latest series, which ends this evening, the new character of Dr Jack Hodgson (played by David Caves) was added to the line-up.
Silent Witness continues to be a ratings winner for BBC1 with last night’s episode winning its timeslot with an overnight figure of 5.13 million. The ITV documentary Martin Clunes: Heavy Horse Power came in second with 3.67m, while How to Build a Bionic Man on C4 netted 1.05m.
The BBC also announced today that Emilia Fox and David Caves will return for a new series of Silent Witness in 2014.