Steve Pemberton has said he left Benidorm because he missed his family while shooting the comedy away in Spain.
The actor, who recently appeared in Happy Valley, has played patriarch Mick Garvey on the ITV comedy since it began in 2007, and will make his exit during the seventh series, along with his screen family – wife Janice (Siobhan Finneran, who also starred in Happy Valley), mother-in-law Madge (Sheila Reid), daughter Chantelle (Hannah Hobley) and son Michael (Oliver Stokes).
“It’s a long time to be away from home – it’s three months away from the family – so that was a big part in deciding to move on,” says Steve.
The Garvey family have already shot their final scenes.
“We’ve left Benidorm. We filmed our scenes early on this year so we’re going to be in the first episode or two of the new series, but then the whole Garvey family are leaving,” Steve explained.
“It’s a very sad time, really, but I felt the time was right for us to move on and do different things. And I’m sure the show will go on from strength to strength.
“It’s a phenomenon. To do seven series is extraordinary and to have such a big following, but for us – the Garvey family – we all felt it was time to move on and do other things,” he continued.