Stuart Manning has announced he’s quitting Hollyoaks.

Stuart, who has played Russ Owen in the Channel 4 soap since 2004, will leave in an emotional storyline which sees him desperately try to snatch his son, Max.

Estranged from his son, since the death of his mother Tina McQueen (Leah Hackett), Russ becomes embroiled in a bitter row with her sister Jacqui (Claire Cooper) who is intent on playing mum to the little boy.

Russ tries to discuss access with Jacqui but when she denies him any opportunity to see Max, an angry Russ is forced to take drastic action.

Stuart said: “I’ve had a great time at Hollyoaks over the last five years and I’ve learned so much. Russ has been a fantastic character and he’s had some great storylines which have been great fun to play – but there’s also been lots of hard work!

“I’ll obviously be sad to leave as I’ve worked with some great people but I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into new projects.”

Lucy Allan, Hollyoaks series producer, said: “Stuart has been a valued member of cast over the last five years. Russ has gone through some pretty rough times and this story sees the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

“We feel that this is the just and fitting end to a character that has shown great diversity and been pushed so far. We’d all like to wish Stuart all the best in the future.”

Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk’s new weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop

Get all the latest soap gossip delivered straight to your door. Subscribe to Soaplife magazine today