It’s official – Simon MacCorkindale will be leaving Casualty at the end of the year.

But fans of the long-running BBC medical drama can rest assured that the handsome actor, who plays consultant Harry Harper, will be on our screens for a few months yet.

Speaking on GMTV, Simon revealed he will finish filming at Christmas, before embarking on rehearsals for a 16-week tour of Sleuth, which starts in Windsor in January next year.

The veteran star, who joined Casualty in 2002, has seen his alter ego go through many ups and downs.

His first massive storyline involved the death of his wife Beth, while Harry was having an intimate – and illicit – dinner with Selena (Liz Carling).

As a result of that incident, his daughter Tally began a romance with an older man, and attempted suicide.

The medic, who is the show’s third longest-serving character, has also endured emotional upheaval more recently.

His romance with scheming nurse Ellen (Georgina Bouzova) ended shortly before she was diagnosed with cancer. Just as she was recovering, the blonde died after being hit by a motorcycle.

Harry briefly left the ED to focus on a career in politics, but returned earlier this year at the behest of young Guppy (Elyes Gabel). It didn’t take long for Harry to fall for Selena’s charms once again.

But that liaison ended in tragedy as she was shot and died in his arms, informing him the child she was carrying was Nathan’s (Ben Price) and not his.