Emmerdale actor Joseph Gilgun has revealed he is leaving the soap to pursue other opportunities.

The 25-year-old, who has played lovable rogue Eli Dingle since 2006, said it was the right time to move on.

Speaking on the red carpet at the premiere of his new film Harry Brown, Joseph said: “It will be sad to leave – I’ve made a lot of good friends there, but I think it is time to move on as far as my career is concerned.”

The actor said his next career move will be spin-off TV series of Shane Meadows’ This Is England, in which Joseph played Woody.

“It’s really exciting to see all the old gang,” he said.

Asked what he’ll miss most from his Emmerdale days, he said: “The routine. You get into a massive routine working on a soap. I get to act every day, which is brilliant. And there are massive personalities there. I’ll miss my friends.”

An Emmerdale spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Joseph Gilgun will be leaving Emmerdale early next year but we’re not ruling out the possibility of him returning to the show. We wish Joe all the very best for the future.”

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