Two more Emmerdale actors have announced they will shortly be leaving the ITV1 soap.

Mathew Bose, who plays barman Paul, and Michael Jayston – who appears as devious businessman Donald de Souza – have both chosen to call it a day.

“I’ve had a brilliant time playing Paul, but after four years, I have taken the decision to explore new projects,” said Mathew in a statement on the ITV website.

He added: “This is a personal decision and one that I have agonised over for some time.”

Emmerdale officials say Mathew will leave when his contract expires at the end of this year.

The actor has been given an open invitation to return to the soap and denied there was any bad feeling among the cast and crew.

He added: “The rumours in the press about low morale among the cast are completely untrue. There is a great atmosphere at the moment.”

Michael Jayston will leave later this year.

Michael said: “I’ve had a marvellous time filming the show. There are no egos at Emmerdale and I’ve made a lot of friends. I’m looking forward to filming Donald’s dramatic demise!”

Series producer Anita Turner commented: “It’s always disappointing to see great actors go but the storylines dictate the pace and we have to allow the show to keep moving forward.

“I understand Mathew’s decision to go off and explore other avenues but the door will be open for him to come back any time.”