Emmerdale star Rik Makarem has revealed he is looking for acting work in Hollywood now he is leaving the soap.

The 31-year-old actor – who joined the ITV show as businessman Nikhil Sharma in 2009 – has already filmed his final scenes, which screen on Tuesday night (August 20).

Rik told ITV’s This Morning: “I’d never rule out a stint in the States. I’m really blessed to be working alongside excellent representation here in the UK and in the United States.

“We will see about that, but I think it’s about making the right decision on the right project. Certainly the next character that I’m lucky enough to play has to be different from what I’ve been playing.”

The actor is not fazed about leaving Emmerdale after almost five years.

He said: “I did go through a process of looking at what it is I should be doing over the next few years. I didn’t make the decision a year ago or anything, but I considered where the character was and the character’s journey and I just felt that it was the right time. The decision was made with peace of mind.

“You have to make a decision that’s right for you. If you have an attachment to security or a long-term gig that’s going to provide financial affluence, then maybe you’re not doing it for the right reasons.

“I just think there’s a whole host of different characters that I’ve got inside me, that I need to get out. I’m at a stage of my career where I think it’s a good time to try new things.

“I’ve definitely reached a stage of my life where I’m looking less for other people’s approval and just trusting myself, on instinct, about things that I need to do in my life. I think when you get to that point, it’s very liberating.”