Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher has reportedly left the ITV soap after two decades playing the role of farmer Andy Sugden.
Fletcher – who first appeared on the show at the age of 12 in 1996 – has already filmed his final scenes and viewers will now have to see whether Andy is to be sent to prison for the shooting of Lawrence White, a crime that he didn’t actually commit.
Speaking to the Sun tonight, a source said: “Kelvin is a soap legend and will be sorely missed by Emmerdale and viewers. Bosses have managed to keep him leaving top secret, but now the cat is out of the bag.
“Producers have given him a big, dramatic exit. It’s going to be the perfect way to see off Andy.”
It is thought that the door is being left open for Fletcher to return, if he so wishes, but that this is the last we will see of Andy “for the foreseeable future”.
Back in March, show boss Iain MacLeod revealed that a character with connections to Home Farm would be leaving, saying:
“We have a big Home Farm story coming up for summer, the seeds of which are being laid now. It may or may not include an exit for one of the characters in that sort of story group, shall we say.”
During his 20 years in Emmerdale, Andy has been involved in a number of high-profile dramas, most notably the torching of a barn that led to the demise of adoptive mum Sarah and the recent murder pact that resulted in the shooting of his brother Robert.
Speaking recently, Fletcher did express a desire to pursue work outside of Emmerdale: “I do have aspirations to do other things.
“When you play one character for 20 years, regardless of the storylines they throw at you, there comes a time when you want to try something else. My drive and hunger for acting has never subsided, but hopefully I’ve got a few strings to my bow.”
Emmerdale declined to comment when contacted by RadioTimes.com.
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